- Title: ITALY: Italians take time to decide on elections over lunch
- Date: 12th April 2008
- Summary: VARIOUS OF NUNS AND PRIESTS WALKING IN THE STREET OUTSIDE VATICAN
- Embargoed: 27th April 2008 13:00
- Location: Italy
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA6WUGQX64EEV57SXEGAF4MT34Q
- Story Text: Italian voters, many undecided on the eve of the election, spend the first day of campaign silence in months mulling last-minute pleas for their votes doing what they do best, having lunch and shopping.
Italian voters on Saturday (April 12), disillusioned with a lacklustre electoral campaign, made the most of the media blackout the day before the country goes to vote and were out doing what they do best, having lunch and shopping.
"Now I'm going to lunch to eat something because I've already decided, " Guiseppe Monza, a Rome resident said.
Renowned for their sense of style Italians were glad to have time to stroll along Rome's central shopping street looking for their next purchase rather than getting too worried about their political choices in a country where many believe their political system is a shambles.
Many have complained there is little to choose from between Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right party and the centre-left candidate Walter Veltroni.
"I am really uncertain, after what the right have done and what the left have done, always the same people - it's just not worth it,"
Amadeo Muti, a waiter in a busy downtown restaurant said. Others relegated the thoughts of elections to the back of their minds.
"I'm still undecided, I am not sure if I will even vote," said Maria Gianni, busy with her shopping.
The influence of the church in Italy, home to the Vatican and the pope, will be especially strong on Sunday and Monday (April 13-14). Although shying away from directly entering political debate the Catholic church in the country has taken a strong stance against abortion, an issue that could sway the vote for many.
Even among leftist parties, there is discord over strong abortion-rights legislation, which Veltroni supports. Berlusconi has called for an international moratorium on the subject.
Polls close at 3 p.m. (1300 GMT) on Monday with exit polls expected immediately and preliminary results two hours later.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None