Tramvia Referendum

The result: The controversial urban railway system will be constructed anyway

Editorial Staff
February 21, 2008

 

125,000 Florentines voted

2/3 abstained

 

53.2% voted against

46.8% of voters for 

 

Only a minority of Florentines flocked to the polls on February 17 to have their say on the Tramvia project. Although a total of 315,641 Florentines were eligible to participate in the advisory referendum, only a disappointing 39.36 percent showed up.

 

Despite the fact that of those who voted, 53.2 were against the Tramvia and 46.8 were for it, the controversial urban railway system will be built anyway.

 

The sparse turn-out allows city officials to continue construction. Being advisory in nature, referendum results are not legally binding nor are municipal administrators obliged to take results in account when more than 50 percent of voters do not participate.

 

After learning the results, vice mayor Matulli stated, ‘The majority of citizens support us, so we are going ahead with the project The inconsistency of holding a referendum after construction was confirmed by the city. Seeing all the funds and effort our opponents have put into the anti-Tramvia campaign, I was expecting more decisive results. Six out of 10 Florentines did not accept Razzanelli’s invitation to the polls, and among those who did, only slightly more than half voiced their opposition’.

 

Voters were asked to voice their opinion on Tramvia Lines 2 and 3, in two separate ballots. Approximately 53 percent of participants voted ‘Yes’ to modify the more controversial Line 2, while 47 percent expressed their support for it. Regarding Line 3, 51 percent voted against, compared to 48 percent who want it as is.

 

The strongest opposition to the Tramvia was recorded in the historic centre, where about 54 percent voted against Line 2 and 57.46 percent voted against Line 3.

 

As things stand now, the Tramvia’s opponents can only hope that they are able to persuade city officials to change the Line 2 route to avoid Piazza del Duomo.

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