Quorum has not been reached, as expected. The turnout at the Italian drills referendum has stopped at 32%, resulting in the invalidation of the consultation, which has seen the triumph of “yes” (almost 80%). Matteo Renzi is exulting, considering this outcome to be a victory against the “few councilors and some region presidents” who wanted to transform it into a mere political “counting off”. The committee of ‘‘yes’’ advocates expressed its satisfaction too for having “put a spotlight on the oil lobby in Italy and the energy choices of the country.”
Yet, also the opposition, with its 15 million voters who could make a difference at the forthcoming reforms referendum in autumn. The core of the political debate is exactly the interpretation of the vote. On the one side there are Minoranza Dem Sinistra, FI, and M5s, whereas on the other there is the Democratic Party of Renzi’s supporters. According to the Prime Minister, these numbers represent a “net, clear result, which is better than expected”, “Italy has spoken out – he explains -. This referendum was rejected.” The President of the Council seeks to anticipate his opponents: “Now there will be the usual sad exhibition of old-style politicians who claim to have won even if they lost. In politics one must know how to lose.”
Renzi’s rather transparent reference to Puglia Region President Michele Emiliano who led the patrol of the rebel administrators inside the Democratic Party and who joined the front line against the orders of the executive and of the party. Emiliano is not going to lay down arms: “We have exceeded the threshold of 10 million votes, which we considered necessary to be able to talk about success: the government will have to take this into account.” “And as president of the Council – he says among other things – it was disrespectful.”
Probably there will be a battle again when they resume the discussion of Royalties for the Regions and country’s energy policies. M5s was in the opposition, in the forefront during the referendum campaign. It thanked “the 15 million voters” with a post on Beppe Grillo’s blog and relaunched the referendum initiative without the requirement of a quorum. Forza Italia relies on Renato Brunetta’s words: the FI party leader in the Chamber of Deputies linked drills with the upcoming institutional reforms referendum in October by saying that “13 million votes will suffice to defeat the government.” The question of abstention was debated more than the subject of the referendum itself, that is, the possibility to limit concessions for drills within 12 miles of the coast.
Renzi says he is sorry they had “not vote”, explaining he did so to protect “11 thousand jobs” of workers and engineers in the oil industry. “We will be the greenest country in Europe,” he adds, explaining that though the policies for renewables cannot be done wasting the energy we already have but over time. Not even FI leader Silvio Berlusconi went to the polls. Tempers are tense both between and inside the parties. As it was stressed by Ernesto Carbone, Democratic Party deputy and Renzi’s supporter who, after the opening of the urns, wrote a mocking tweet for all those who believed that the quorum would have been reached. This tweet earned him several resentful answers from both majority and opposition representatives.