Today the Italian people have spoken, they have spoken unequivocally. They have chosen in a clear-cut manner and I think this was a great celebration for democracy. The voting turnout was higher than anyone expected. It was a celebration that took place in a context marred by some controversies during the electoral campaign, but in which many citizens have gotten closer to the Constitution, the rules of the game, and I think this is very good, important, and significant.
I am proud of the opportunity that the parliament, under initiative of the government, has given the citizens to express themselves on the reforms’ merit. Viva l’Italia [an Italian expression of celebration literally meaning “Long live Italy”, or “Hooray for Italy”], that does not stand by the window but chooses. Viva l’Italia that participates and decides. Viva l’Italia that believes in politics.
The No vote won in a clear way, and to the leaders of the No front go all my congratulations and my wishes to work in the interest of the country, of Italy and of Italians. This vote gives the leaders of the No front honors and obligations as well as the great responsibility of starting from the proposal, I believe first of all from the proposal of the rules, for the voting law. It is up to those who won, in fact, to be the first to put forward serious, concrete, and credible proposals.
To the friends on the Yes front, who have shared the dream of this reform, an emotional electoral campaign, I would like to give a strong, affectionate hug, one by one. We tried, we gave Italians a simple and clear chance for change. But we did not make it, we could not convince a majority of our citizens; we have received millions of votes, but while these millions of votes are impressive, they are not enough. We wanted to win, not simply take part, and so I assume all responsibilities for the defeat and I tell the friends on the Yes front that I lost, not them.