- Title: Italians speculate on the way ahead
- Date: 5th December 2016
- Summary: ROME, ITALY (DECEMBER 5, 2016) (REUTERS) MEDIA OUTSIDE PRIME MINISTER'S RESIDENCE ITALIAN AND EUROPEAN UNION FLAGS OUTSIDE PRIME MINISTER'S RESIDENCE FORZA ITALIA SENATOR, LUCIO MALAN, SPEAKING TO JOURNALIST IN SQUARE OUTSIDE PRIME MINISTER'S RESIDENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORZA ITALIA SENATOR, LUCIO MALAN, SAYING: "It is up to Mr. Renzi again because he still leads, Renzi is still the leader of the main party. The party that has the majority at the lower house so it is mainly up to him to decide in which way the Democratic Party will gauge this new moment. Of course the official decision will be up to the President of the Republic, Mr. Matterella and I trust him that he will do the best thing for the institutions but of course, the position of the main party in the lower house is instrumental for any solution." GUARDS OUTSIDE PRIME MINISTER'S RESIDENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORZA ITALIA SENATOR, LUCIO MALAN, SAYING: "I hope the solution will be a new cabinet able to accompany a new electoral law because now we have, for the responsibility of Mr. Renzi, we have two laws completely different from the house and from the senate that would make a new government almost impossible after the elections. So we need a new law, we couldn't have it with Mr. Renzi, I hope we will have it in the next months and then to have new elections as in a democracy often happens."
- Embargoed: 20th December 2016 13:46
- Keywords: Italy elections referendum Silvio Berlusconi Lucio Malan Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
- Location: ROME, ITALY
- City: ROME, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Reuters ID: LVA0015BLYTS7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is set to resign on Monday (December 5) after suffering a crushing defeat in a referendum over constitutional reform, tipping the euro zone's third-largest economy into political turmoil.
His decision to quit after just two-and-a-half years in office deals a blow to the European Union, already reeling from multiple crises and struggling to overcome anti-establishment forces that have battered the Western world this year.
Renzi's emotional, midnight resignation announcement sent the euro lower and jolted stock and bond markets on concerns that early elections could follow, possibly paving the way for an anti-euro party, the 5-Star Movement, to come to power.
Sunday's (December 4) referendum was over government plans to reduce the powers of the upper house Senate and regional authorities but was viewed by many people as a chance to register dissatisfaction with Renzi, who has struggled to revive economic growth, and mainstream politics.
Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, who has pulled out of scheduled meetings with European finance ministers in Brussels this week, is viewed as a possible candidate to replace Renzi.
Senate President Pietro Grasso has also been tipped as a possible successor. Although some Italians would prefer to see the return of former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi.
"I don't know what to say, each one is worse than the other. So, taking things into consideration, I'd vote for Berlusconi," said Margherita Fucili.
The government crisis could open the door to elections next year and to the possibility of the opposition 5-Star Movement gaining power in the heart of the single currency area. 5-Star, which campaigned hard for a 'No' vote, wants to hold a referendum instead on membership of the euro.
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