Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi shows economic data during a press conference at Chigi Palace after the approval of the government's financial and economic planning in Rome, Friday, April 8, 2016. (Giuseppe Lami/ANSA via AP Photo)
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Italians were voting in a referendum Sunday on oil and gas drilling concessions which brings to a peak a heated debate fraught with risk for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and fueled by anger over a government corruption scandal.Under Italy's referendum rules, the outcome of a popular vote is only valid if at least 50 percent of the registered electorate cast ballots.Polling stations opened 7am (0500 GMT) and are scheduled to close at 11pm (0100 GMT), with nearly 47 million Italians eligible to vote.The "Yes" camp insists far fewer than 11,000 jobs are at risk, as many of the 92 platforms in question are unmanned.They are also furious that Renzi refused to hold the referendum on the same day as local elections later this year, a decision which will cost the taxpayer 300 million euros ($338 million), according to the regions and environmentalists.
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