Despite that the constitutional right to hold a popular referendum has existed since the Italian constitution was approved in late 1947, the necessary legislation detailing the bureaucratic procedures needed to have them was not approved until the early 1970s. As a consequence of this, Italy's first popular referendum was not held until 1974, 27 years after the constitution was first approved.
The first constitutional referendum was held in 2001, 54 years after the constitution was approved. All previous constitutional amendments had been approved by the supermajority of the Parliament, denying the possibility to call a referendum.
A popular referendum can be called only at the request five regional councils or 500,000 eligible Italian electors who sign an official validatedpetition and present a legal identity document to the committee (usually a political party) collecting the signatures.
Then, the petition (together with the thousands of pages of voter's... Read More