Italy PM Berlusconi suffers referendum defeat‎

Al Jazeera English

by Al Jazeera English

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Italians were celebrating in Rome after voters dealt premier Silvio Berlusconi a serious political blow on Monday, overturning laws passed by his government to revive nuclear energy, privatise the water supply and help him avoid prosecution.

Partial results from referendums on Monday showed clear majorities to throw out a water privatisation law, kill a law reviving nuclear energy and undo legislation offering the Italian leader a partial legal shield in criminal prosecutions.

Voter turnout topped 57 per cent - safely above the 51 per cent needed to validate the vote. It is the first time since 1995 that a quorum has been reached.

Anti-nuclear activists were celebrating in central Rome as the partial results were announced.

Al Jazeera's Alan Fisher reports from Rome.