Following in from Ireland’s resounding NO vote, attention is moving to other countries in Europe where Lisbon has yet to be ratified. Italy seems to be particularly vulnerable to the Treaty meeting substantial opposition.
From the BBC yesterday June 13th. –
Silvio Berlusconi’s government has adopted measures to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, but one of its key coalition partners – the Northern League – has reservations. The party is campaigning for more autonomy in the north and wants the treaty put to a referendum, like in Ireland.
“We are facing a serious case of abandoning sovereignty, popular consultation must not be bypassed,” said the League’s Roberto Calderoli, the newly-appointed minister for the simplification of laws.
His party will now present a bill seeking that referendum.
But the foreign minister, Franco Frattini, said the decision to adopt the treaty was taken unanimously by the cabinet. And they are hoping it will be adopted by the beginning of August.
The treaty must be ratified by parliament – it is on the agenda for debate in the lower house in July. But the government will encounter problems without the Northern League’s vote.
The Italians have a love-hate relationship with Europe. Generally the public is in favour of closer ties with Brussels, but they do complain they have less money since they joined the euro.
In recent months the government has faced a series of clashes with the European Commission, including a lawsuit on the Naples rubbish crisis, disagreements on the fate of the struggling airline Alitalia, and criticism over poor public finances.
See full BBC round-up post Ireland referendum HERE. It looks as if there might also be a hold-up in Germany, where the President has withheld his signature from the ratification.
(Pictured – Ex-PM Romano Prodi and PM Silvio Berlusconi)