Italian minister, after talking to Renzi, sees new election likely in February

Italian minister, after talking to Renzi, sees new election likely in February

Italy Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, gambled with his political future and the stability of Europe on Sunday - and lost!

Renzi announced he would step down after his heavy defeat.

When Renzi does resign, Mattarella will consult with party leaders before naming a new prime minister - the fourth successive head of government to be appointed without an electoral mandate, a fact that underscores the fragility of Italy's political system.

Others attributed the euro's uptick to Renzi's decision to resign so soon after the results of the referendum, in which almost 60 percent voted "no" to his proposal, Agence France-Presse reported. Renzi is expected to hand in his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella later Monday.

President Barack Obama is reassuring Italian Premier Matteo Renzi that Italy will remain one of the closest USA allies despite Renzi's defeat in a referendum on government-championed reforms.

Italian Premier Matteo Renzi, center, arrives at the Quirinal presidential palace in Rome, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016.

Britain will "work closely" with the new administration in Italy, Downing Street has said.

Governmental action, says Orsina, needs time.

But the 41-year-old Renzi said he would leave office after voters decisively rejected his plans to reduce the role of the upper house Senate and centralise power.

The vote was a humiliating defeat for Renzi, who has said he'll keep the promise he made to quit if the vote failed.

Italy's youngest ever premier had been feted around the world as a pro-European reformer and lauded by U.S. President Barack Obama for his "bold, progressive" leadership.

An election must be held by February 2018 but opposition parties are clamouring for it to be held up to a year early, saying the referendum was effectively a vote of no confidence in the centre-left coalition.

The premier chaired a farewell cabinet meeting and posted a video on Facebook listing his achievements over almost three years of government: "1,000 hard, but attractive days [in office]". Investors focused on growth opportunities and shrugged off the bad news.

Five Star founder and leader Beppe Grillo called for an election to be called "within a week" on the basis of a recently adopted electoral law which is created to ensure the leading party has a parliamentary majority - a position Five Star could well find themselves in at the next election.

Because of the strong push for an early vote, Mattarella is widely expected to ask a member of Renzi's cabinet, or a politician from his Democratic Party, to put together an interim government.

The president's intent to delay the political crisis until major pending issues were solved was quite clear since after he held informal talks with Renzi earlier on Monday.

But Marine Le Pen, the leader of France's National Front, who is hoping to ride the populist tide to victory in the French presidential elections, praised Mr Hofer's party for a campaign "fought with courage". "I am sad that the referendum in Italy didn't turn out the way the prime minister wanted, because I have always supported his course of reform", she said.

The head of the group of 19 countries that use the euro currency says there is no need for "emergency steps" after Italian voters rejected constitutional reforms.

"It doesn't really change the situation economically in Italy or in the Italian banks".



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