Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi waved goodbye to nuclear power as Ministry of the Interior figures confirmed that the turnout for a national referendum was sufficient to repeal a law setting out plans for new plants.
According to Reuters, figures from the Interior Ministry showed turnout was running at 57 per cent with some 98 per cent of the vote counted. For any referendum verdict to be legally accepted, a quorum of 50 per cent plus one of the Italian population must be reached.
With exit polls indicating that 94 per cent of voters in the nuclear referendum voted against Enel's plans to build four Areva EPRs, Berlusconi's nuclear ambitions appeared to be thwarted.
Another referendum concerned the so-called "legitimate impediment" that allows ministers to skip trial hearings against them if they are on government business, which Berlusconi's critics say is for his personal benefit by possibly delaying his four concurrent trials. Two others concerned the privatization of water utilities.