Italian cabinet minister welcomes likely no win in Irish referendum
A cabinet minister in Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government on Friday welcomed the outcome of the Irish referendum, reported dpa.
"A thank-you goes to the Irish people for their vote," Minister for Simplifying Legislation Roberto Calderoli was quoted as saying by the ANSA newsagency.
"Each time peoples have been called to vote, they have with clamour rejected a model of Europe which is seen as distant from the people themselves," Calderoli, added.
Calderoli said Ireland's rejection of the Treaty of Lisbon was in tune with the policies of his party, the Northern League which campaigns for devolving more power to Italy's regions.
"Sovereignty belongs to the people and only the people can decide whether they want to give it up," Calderoli said.
He also said he agreed with those who believe that it would be "unconstitutional" for countries to have their parliaments ratify the Treaty without a referendum, thus "handing our destinies to bureaucrats and not to those elected by the people."
But Calderoli's centre-right government ally, Parliamentary Speaker Gianfranco Fini, said Ireland's rejection of the treaty would be a "crisis without precedent."
Fini who belongs to Berlusconi's People of Freedom party, was quoted as saying by ANSA, ahead of the result in Ireland being announced, that he hoped for a victory for the yes vote.