- Title: Italians wake up to an uncertain future with PM due to resign
- Date: 5th December 2016
- Summary: ROME, ITALY (DECEMBER 5, 2016) (REUTERS) ITALIAN NEWSPAPERS ON TABLE
- Embargoed: 20th December 2016 07:47
- Keywords: Italy referendum Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resignation
- Location: ROME, ITALY
- City: ROME, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Reuters ID: LVA0035BLWSAV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Concerned Italians woke up to an uncertain future on Monday (December 5) after Prime Minister Matteo Renzi suffered a crushing defeat in a referendum on constitutional reform, tipping the euro zone's third-largest economy into political turmoil.
The 'Yes' won almost 40.9 percent of the vote on Sunday (December 4) compared with 59.1 percent for 'No', according to a final vote count.
Renzi's 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.
The euro fell to 20-month lows against the dollar, with markets worried that instability in Italy could reignite a dormant financial crisis and deal a hammer blow to Italy's fragile banking sector.
Renzi's resignation could open the door to early elections next year and to the possibility of an anti-euro party, the opposition 5-Star Movement, gaining power in the heart of the single currency. 5-Star campaigned hard for a 'No' vote.
Residents in Rome said they feared for their future but were nonetheless hopeful, seeing Renzi's defeat as their only opportunity for change.
Italian broadcaster Sky Italia's news bulletin rolled through the early hours of the morning with a huge caption reading "Italy chose no".
Italian newspaper front pages all featured Renzi and dedicated huge sections inside to analysis of the results and what might be next for Italy.
Renzi said he took full responsibility for the "extraordinarily clear" defeat and that on Monday afternoon he would convene his cabinet and then hand in his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella.
Mattarella will have to embark on a round of consultations with party leaders before naming a new prime minister -- Italy's fifth in as many years -- who will be tasked with drawing up a new electoral law.
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