Italy party gets 100K signatures for eurozone exit vote
An Italian political party has reportedly collected over 100,000 signatures on a petition demanding a legal bill that would provide for the holding of a referendum on Italy’s withdrawal from the eurozone.
An Italian lawmaker affiliated with the country’s Five Star Movement (M5S) Party, Carlo Sibila, said although the petition has already exceeded the required number of signatures needed for the legislative initiative, he expects his party to gather 50,000 more signatures by early May in a bid to highlight the issue, RT reported.
The Italian MP further stated that he expects a referendum on the move will take place by early next year.
“Who wants to stay in euro? This is the main question,” said Sibila as quoted in the report. “But we don’t want to get out just like this – we want a program and a discussion, and then let the citizens decide.”
According to the legislator, Italy’s debt climbed dramatically following the introduction of the euro. Sibila further noted that Italy’s unemployment rate hovers around 12.7 percent, the sixth highest in the EU.
“It’s really necessary today as the situation in Italy is going from bad to worse where (as far as) jobs and economy are concerned,” he added.
However, according to the report, the Italian constitution does not allow the cancellation of international accords signed before the referendum.
“We can’t have our own fiscal policy, but without the euro it is possible in Italy,” Sibila emphasized, underlining, however, that his M5S Party is not after pulling out of the European Union, but merely seeks to leave the currency union.
“Italian citizens need to have the right to decide if they want to stay inside or outside the monetary union,” Sibila said. “We are not questioning the European Union, it is only the monetary union.”
Established in 2009 by Italian comedian and activist Beppe Grillo, the M5S Party finished second in the 2014 European Parliament election with 21 percent of the vote.
According to the report, Italy joined the Eurozone in 1999, and the currency was introduced into circulation three years later.