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Sunday, 4 December 2016

Italian PM Renzi vows to resign after referendum defeat

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced his resignation hours after learning he had suffered a crushing defeat in a referendum on constitutional reform.


Italian voters rejected a constitutional reform plan, according to exit polls which showed that the "No" campaign had prevailed following Sunday's referendum.

"My experience of government finishes here," Renzi told a press conference, acknowledging that the No campaign had won an "extraordinarily clear" victory in a vote on which he had staked his political future.

Interior ministry projections suggested the No camp, led by the populist Five Star Movement, had been backed by 59.5 percent of those who voted.

Besides the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, the outcome energised another "anti" party, the anti-immigrant Northern League, an ally of French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, a candidate in France's presidential race.

In voting No, Italians also delivered a rebuke to Italy's industrialists, banks and other establishment institutions, which had staunchly backed the referendum.

"The prime minister will likely have seen this coming, and to a large extent, the country will have seen this coming, that the polls and the people were moving against Matteo Renzi and his constitutional reforms," Al Jazeera's Jonah Hull said, reporting from Rome.

The anti-reform victory, which could spook investors, comes just as the government had made some inroads in cutting the staggering rate of youth employment and while Italy's banks have urgent need for recapitalisation.
 [aljazeera.com]
5/12/16

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