Italy PM Renzi Resigns Following Referendum Defeat
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned in the early hours of Monday after accepting defeat in a constitutional referendum he’d staked his job on.
With exit polls showing about 59 percent of Italians had voted against his plans to rein in the power of the Italian Senate, the prime minister said he will hand his resignations to President Sergio Mattarella. The euro fell to a 20-month low as he spoke.
“I have lost,” Renzi said in a televised statement. “We gave the Italians an opportunity to change, but we didn’t succeed.”
The 41-year-old premier becomes the second European leader this year to lose his job after wrongly betting that he could overcome a populist backlash to reinforce his mandate. With U.K. politics still roiled by the fallout from David Cameron’s post-Brexit ouster, Italian President Sergio Mattarella has to decide on who should form the next government and plot a way forward for the country.
Possible successors who might be asked to lead a caretaker government include Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, Senate Speaker Pietro Grasso and Culture Minister Dario Franceschini. The country’s mainstream parties have been preparing contingency plans to ensure a government would keep functioning if Renzi was forced out.
Image: Italy PM Renzi Resigns Following Referendum Defeat