Most Italians have no idea what they're voting on in one of Italy's most important votes in history

Photo: MICHAEL URBAN/AFP/Getty Images

Italians faces one of the most important votes in Italy’s history but a new report by HSBC shows that most people have no idea what they are voting on.

Italians will vote either “yes” or “no” in a referendum on December 4 on constitutional reforms. However, according to this chart nestled within a report by Fabio Balboni, European economist at HSBC, it shows that most people either do not know what they are voting on or that they are voting on the resignation of prime minister Matteo Renzi’s government:

A lot of those who are voting on the basis of constitutional reform aren’t clear on what the reform is actually about:

A “yes” vote will mean support for the government’s reforms of Italy’s upper house. It will allow the government to substantially reduce the power of the senate and direct influence away from Italy’s regions and towards the central government in Rome.

Fabio Balboni, European economist at HSBC said in his report that “we think the measures would make it easier to pass reforms and would lead to more stable governments.”

A “no” vote is likely to lead to the departure of prime minister Matteo Renzi, who has said he would resign given that outcome. However, he has started to climb down on his promise a little. At the beginning of the month, for example, he told Italian media that irrespective of the referendum outcome there will be no early elections in 2017.

“Without these reforms, it would be as hard as ever to drive the changes needed to set Italy on a more prosperous path. The risk then is that Italy becomes even more disenchanted with life inside the euro,” said HSBC in the report.

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