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The Senate is the upper chamber of the Italian parliament. It consists of 315 elected members and a handful of lifetime senators nominated by the president of the Republic for notable achievements in the arts or science or, as is often the case, politics. Italy has a "perfectly bicameral" system in which both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies have identical functions and powers and both must approve all legislation often leading to delays. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's is in the process of converting the upper chamber into an assembly for regional and local politicians and task it with specific powers in Italy's evolving federal structure, in a reform aimed to speed up the passage of laws.

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