This is an excerpt from a report published 13/6/2011 on the Al Jazeera English website. To read the entire article click the link below (there's also a video report by Alan Fisher):
What are your thoughts on the referendum's outcome and what does this mean for the future of Italy and Italian politics?
Silvio Berlusconi has suffered a humiliating defeat after Italians turned out in large numbers to vote in referendums which the Italian prime minister had encouraged them to boycott.
The proposals to repeal Berlusconi-era legislation on nuclear power, water privatisation and trial immunity for government ministers were backed by opposition parties and opposed by the centre-right.
Interior ministry figures put the turnout at 57 per cent, a huge change from the lacklustre participation in previous referendums, and 95 per cent of the votes counted backed the motions.
Berlusconi had declared that he would not cast a vote, but the unusually high turnout dashed any hope he may have had that the necessary quorum of 50 per cent would not be reached.