Italy to hold nuclear referendum
Rome - A top Italian court has ruled that Italians can vote in a referendum this month on whether the country should return to nuclear power, despite the government's efforts to scrap the vote.
Premier Silvio Berlusconi initially pledged to revive nuclear power to reduce dependence on foreign oil and natural gas, leading opposition forces to call for the referendum.
But Berlusconi decided to shelve his plans following Japan's nuclear disaster, mostly in a bid to avert a referendum expected to show overwhelming opposition that would doom any future attempt to return to nuclear energy.
In a referendum following the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, Italy became the only Group of Eight country to abandon nuclear power.
The Court of Cassation ruled on Wednesday that the June 12 - 13 referendum can go ahead.