Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has resigned following a crushing defeat in a referendum he had led to reform portions of the Italian constitution.
Renzi strongly backed the reforms and announced beforehand that he would step down if he lost, and the people clearly handed him a defeat.
Renzi, who swept into power as a reformer, lost in his attempt to bring some of those reforms. The referendum was to curtail some of the powers of Italy’s second legislative body, the Senate, and streamline a cumbersome process of government. But critics said the reforms would concentrate too much power in the hands of one person – the Prime Minister.
And the voters agreed, with 60% voting ‘No’ on the reforms, and 40% voting ‘Yes’.
Renzi would officially step down later in the day, after addressing a Cabinet meeting. Italy faces an uncertain economic and political future.