Berlusconi stumps for referendums in 2 Italian regions

Markets Associated Press

Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi has thrown his political weight behind a referendum on autonomy in his native region of Lombardy, but said he isn't sure whether he can vote himself.

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Berlusconi joined Lombardy's president, Roberto Maroni, on Wednesday to show his support for a pair of non-binding ballot measures to be voted on Sunday in the prosperous, Northern League-governed regions of Lombardy and neighboring Veneto.

While Berlusconi has traditionally voted in Milan, he recently transferred his residency to Rome, and he said he was waiting to hear from his lawyer on whether he could vote.

Lombardy and Veneto hope that resounding yes votes will give them political leverage in talks with Rome to gain more control over tax revenues and additional competencies in such areas as immigration and security.