Giovedì 17 Gennaio 2019 | 00:07

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Rome

Italy court OKs referendum on oil and gas drilling

Green groups, regions opposed to drilling welcome referendum

Italy court OKs referendum on oil and gas drilling

Rome, January 19 - Italy's Constitutional Court gave the green light on Tuesday to a referendum on drilling for oil and gas in Italy, a decision welcomed by regional councils and environmental groups concerned about the effects of offshore drilling on marine ecosystems. The referendum will cover the duration of authorisations to explore as well as already authorised drilling of fields. It was proposed by regional assemblies who are objecting to drilling platforms because of worries about seismic stability and the environment. "The campaign against drilling starts straightaway," Puglia Governor Michele Emiliano told journalists after the court's decision. ANSA parliamentary sources said on Tuesday that Premier Matteo Renzi's government was mulling a specific modification to its "Unblock Italy" infrastructure projects decree related to the duration of drilling, which will be the focus of the referendum approved by the court. Environmental group Green Italia said the court had given the people a chance to express their voice and it urged Renzi's government not to intervene to try to prevent the poll. "It will be the citizens who will decide if they want these drilling platforms in front of the beaches that live off tourism… and if they want to say yes instead to another idea of energy politics, based on the use of renewable energy," Green Italia said in a statement.

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