Renzi Floats Referendum Dates, Touts New Italy Growth Forecasts

(Bloomberg) -- The referendum on which Matteo Renzi has staked his political future could take place on November 27 or on December 4, the Italian prime minister told Italian television as he made a new economic growth forecast to argue his policies are panning out.

In an interview on the La7 channel, Renzi reiterated that his cabinet will pick one date for the vote on Sept. 26. He also backed away from an earlier promise to resign if he loses the referendum: It “was a mistake." He said he had simply wanted to show he was serious.

"My political career is less important than the institutional reform,” he said. He added Italy’s economy will perform better next year, with annual growth of more than 0.8 percent.

The referendum will be on a reform to shrink the size of the Senate and limit its power in a bid to streamline parliament. The new Senate would get consulted on fewer matters and lose its power to call a vote of no confidence in the government.