The Italian parliament has passed a reform – with 553 yeas to 14 nays – that would cut the number of lawmakers by over one third.
After Tuesday’s vote the number of senators in the Upper House is to drop from 315 to 200, while that of deputies in the Lower House will be reduced from 630 to 400 from the next legislature.
There had been a number of attempts to slash the number of lawmakers in Italy in the past forty years but they had all failed.
Tuesday’s vote was seen as a first true test of the recently formed government coalition made up by once fierce rivals anti-establishment 5SM and the center-left Democratic Party.
According to the 5SM, the reform will streamline governance and can save Italy up to 100 million euros each year. However the Observatory of Public Accounts estimates that only about half the amount indicated by the 5SM is likely to be saved.
Also opposition parties including Matteo Salvini’s anti-immigrant League have voted in favor of the reform. The reduction would make the Italian parliament among the smaller ones in the European Union.
The decision won’t enter into force immediately anyway.
According to the country’s laws, 500,000 Italian citizens, five regional councils and one fifth of members of each houses are entitled to request a referendum to put the reform to the test of citizens within three months.