Arab Today, arab today italians vote on oil and gas as scandal ups pressure on renzi
Last Updated : GMT 12:45:25
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Italians vote on oil and gas as scandal ups pressure on Renzi

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Italians vote on oil and gas as scandal ups pressure on Renzi

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
Rome - AFP

Italians voted Sunday in a referendum on oil and gas drilling concessions after a debate fuelled by anger over a government corruption scandal and freighted with risk for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

In a campaign pitting environmentalists against the government and big business, Italians are deciding whether they want to repeal a new law about drilling near the country's coast.

The legislation, passed only in January, says existing concessions within 12 miles (19 kilometres) of the coast should remain valid until the fields are depleted -- a measure that infuriates campaigners for renewable energy.

The referendum is a key challenge for Renzi's centre-left Democratic Party (PD) after two years in office in which he has pushed through a string of pro-business and political reforms.

Renzi has called on Italians not to vote in the hope that the measure will fail to cross the turnout threshold.

But the appeal has sparked a backlash from opposition parties and deepened a rift within Renzi's camp.

Under Italy's referendum law, the ballot is only valid if more than 50 percent of the country's nearly 47 million registered electors cast their vote.

As of 7:00 pm (1700 GMT), turnout was 23.48 percent, according to interior ministry figures. Polling stations close at 11:00 pm (2100 GMT).

Environmentalists claim platforms near the shore present risks to health and protected habitats.

They argue that reversing the law will send a clear signal the country wants to go green and stop what they call "dirty deals" which benefit oil companies.

"It (Other OTC: ITGL - news) 's a hoax referendum, they say it's about renewable energy, but actually it would mean shutting down working rigs with the loss of 11,000 jobs," Renzi said this week.

Several leading political figures slammed him as a liar and criminal. A recent scandal in Italy that saw a top minister resign over alleged favours to French oil giant Total (LSE: 524773.L - news) has spread concerns the law was changed "as a present to oil companies" such as Italian giant Eni (LSE: 0N9S.L - news) .

- Polling booths or beaches -

The law on drilling concessions affects nine regions, nearly all of which are led by the PD. As a result, the referendum wrangle has fuelled a bitter internal battle and bolstered attacks on Renzi's leadership.

"It's unacceptable for the PM to be the head of the pro-abstention party," said Roberto Speranza, a leading PD rebel.

A "Yes" victory would be a heavy blow to Renzi ahead of a constitutional reforms referendum in October, on which the 41-year-old has bet his political career.

As for the energy companies, it would mean that the 92 platforms within the 12-mile limit would have to start closing from 2018, with the last in 2034.

Most observers say the result will have little effect on government income either way.

Concessions within the 12-mile band brought in a relatively modest 38 million euros ($43 million) in royalties in 2015, according to official data.

If the referendum fails, say opponents, the door will be flung open to underhand dealings.

"The biggest favour to oil and gas -- extending extraction indefinitely -- allows them to avoid shelling out money to dismantle the platforms once the concessions have expired," said Michele Emiliano, president of the Puglia region.

The "Yes" camp insists far fewer than 11,000 jobs are at risk, as many of the 92 platforms in question are unmanned.

They are also furious that Renzi refused to hold the referendum on the same day as local elections later this year, a decision which will cost the taxpayer 300 million euros ($338 million), according to the regions and environmentalists.

Genoa Mayor Marco Doria said it was "outrageous" they had been kept separate in the hope Italians would head to the beach instead of voting.

 

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today italians vote on oil and gas as scandal ups pressure on renzi Arab Today, arab today italians vote on oil and gas as scandal ups pressure on renzi

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries
Arab Today, arab today Saudis await visitors but will they come?

GMT 11:54 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Saudis await visitors but will they come?
Arab Today, arab today Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"
Arab Today, arab today Mental conflict endures

GMT 07:36 2017 Friday ,24 February

Mental conflict endures
Arab Today, arab today Media host Mona Iraqi stresses her show's success

GMT 15:32 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Media host Mona Iraqi stresses her show's success
View News in Arabic - Business: اقتصاد دولي
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today To hold social dialogue over secondary school

GMT 07:43 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

To hold social dialogue over secondary school
Arab Today, arab today UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Nissan enhances sales in most markets

GMT 14:08 2017 Monday ,20 February

Nissan enhances sales in most markets
Arab Today, arab today Wafaa Amer is happy for Sherihan’s return

GMT 07:36 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Wafaa Amer is happy for Sherihan’s return
Arab Today, arab today Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 05:19 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Salma Rashid happy for 'A Whisper of Love'

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 20:02 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories

GMT 15:53 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Small ponds have outsized impact

GMT 23:29 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Home built on sand castles-style costs $8m

GMT 07:51 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Mom's immune system accepts babies

GMT 17:46 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Tourist guide reveals methods of tourist attractions

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 12:22 2017 Monday ,20 February

Kanye West puts hijab-wearing model
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday