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Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi Resigns

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has announced his resignation after exit polls showed he had lost the constitutional reform referendum.

"My experience of government finishes here," said Renzi during a press conference held after the No campaign won what he referred to as an "extraordinarily clear" victory in the referendum.

An exit poll by Italian state broadcaster RAI showed that the 42-46 percent of participants in the referendum had voted to back the reforms, while 54-58 percent voted against them.

"Good luck to us all," added Renzi, noting that he would officially present his resignation to the country's President Sergio Mattarella on Monday, after a final meeting of his cabinet.

After that, Mattarella will be charged with negotiating the appointment of a new government or with ordering early elections.

If Renzi's proposed changes to the constitution had won, they would have reduced the role of the Senate and limited the powers of regional governments.

Analysts say the victorious No vote will further boost the country's opposition parties among them the eurosceptic Five Star Movement all of which favor exiting the eurozone.

Italy is the eurozone's third-largest economy, but its stock market has been performing the worst in Europe this year due to problems in its banking system and concerns over political instability.

Source: Al Alam


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