Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Row as US Ambassador gets involved in crunch Italian vote

The US has enraged campaigners for a No vote in Italy’s upcoming referendum on constitutional reform after the American Ambassador waded in to the debate. Ambassador John Phillips said on Tuesday that it would be “a step back for foreign investment in Italy” if reforms aimed at limiting the power of the Senate and making it easier to pass legislation were defeated. While insisting that the referendum was “an Italian decision,” he added: “Sixty-three governments in sixty-three years do not give guarantees,” he told a seminar at the Instituto di Studi Americani i Rome, according to Ansa. Opponents of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s reforms were swift to condemn the American intervention.



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