Thousands of Italians paraded through the streets of Rome on Tuesday night (13 May) to celebrate on overwhelming referendum vote to retain the country's three-year-old Divorce Laws.
Thousands of Italians paraded through the streets of Rome on Tuesday night (13 May) to celebrate on overwhelming referendum vote to retain the country's three-year-old Divorce Laws. The vote is being seen as a major victory for the Italian Communist party and a blow to both the Catholic Church and the Christian Democratic Party, who were the major forces behind the calling of the referendum.
Nearly 60 per cent of italy's voters wanted the laws to stay. At a victory rally in Rome, Communist Party leader Enrico Berlingeur remained conciliatory toward the Christian Democrats, who are the major party in Italy's coalition government. However, other Communists were quick to claim that the referendum result was largely due to their campaign to keep the laws. At another rally in the Piazza Navona, radical leader Marco Panella claimed the vote was a victory for progressive forces in Italy.
Later crowds carrying torches and banners marched through the city to the Porta Pia, a breach in the walls of Rome. It was through this gap that the Piedmontese troops entered in 1870 to make Rome, although a Vatican preserve, capital of a unified Italy.
Hundreds of people crowded around television sets in shop windows as the results of the referendum began to filter through. Eighty eight per cent of Italy's 37 million voters cast ballots on the issues.