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Renzi vows planned Senate reforms will go ahead

30 settembre 2015 | 19.46
LETTURA: 2 minuti

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Proposed reforms to Italy's upper house of parliament turning it into a much less powerful chamber of regional representatives not directly elected by Italians, will go forward, centre-left premier Matteo Renzi vowed on Wednesday.

"They won't be able to stop these reforms, which will go ahead," Renzi told Italy's Rai3 public TV channel.

Renzi wants to make the government's flagship constitutional reform bill the centrepiece of his term of office and for it to be passed by the end of the year.

The reforms will then be put to Italian voters in referendum expected sometime in 2016.

"With 380,000 amendments to vote on, no one can claim the opposition is being denied its rights," Renzi said.

The bill, which is receiving its third reading in the Senate, has faced stiff opposition, including from rebels within Renzi`s own Democratic Party.

Opposition parties have branded the reforms undemocratic.

Senate speaker Pietro Grasso on Tuesday rejected more than 70 million amendments to the bill presented by the federalist-leaning Northern League opposition party, saying the parliamentary calendar made these unfeasible.

Grasso said some 385,000 amendments presented to the reform bill remained to be examined.

The anti-establishment Five-Star Movement presented 117 amendments to the bill, which the government says is aimed at streamlining Italy's legislative process and easing its notorious political gridlock.

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