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ROME — Italy’s fragmented government survived a critical test and lives to fight another day.
Both coalition partners — the 5Star Movement and the Democratic Party — claimed victory after Italians went to the polls on Sunday and Monday to vote in regional elections and in a constitutional referendum.
The Democratic Party (PD) fought off a challenge from the right in three out of the four regions it was defending, including its traditional stronghold of Tuscany. It also held onto Puglia and Campania but lost Marche.
The 5Stars lost significant support in the regional polls but received huge public approval in the referendum on reducing the number of MPs, its flagship policy, with around 70 percent backing the cut.
The leaders of the governing parties were quick to celebrate. PD leader Nicola Zingaretti — whose head might have been on the chopping block had his party lost its bastions — proclaimed himself the winner. “We are very satisfied,” he said, adding that this positive result happened despite “a very difficult, very fragmented situation inside the alliance that supports the government.” He said the result would facilitate further reforms and cooperation within the government.
Luigi Di Maio, foreign minister and senior 5Star figure, said in a press conference: “Let me say that we have done it, another…
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