(ANSA) - Rome, April 3 - The Lower House on Thursday gave
the definitive approval to a government bill that makes it
possible to abolish Italy's provincial governments, as part of
reforms to simplify and cut the massive costs of the country's
The bill was approved with 260 votes in favour, 158
against and seven abstentions.
It takes powers away from the provincial governments and
transfers them to city and regional administrations, in view of
a change to the Italian Constitution that will make it possible
to abolish the provinces completely.
Opposition parties have said the move risks raising public
spending rather than cutting it.
"This is a coup," shouted Renato Brunetta, the House whip
for ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's opposition centre-right Forza
Italia (FI) party, during the voting.