- Title: Italy risks gloomy Christmas after referendum result
- Date: 6th December 2016
- Summary: FLORENCE, ITALY (RECENT - DECEMBER 3, 2016) (REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) VIEW OF CITY VIEW OF DOME CHRISTMAS LIGHTS AT ICONIC BRIDGE 'PONTE VECCHIO' / CROWDS OF PEOPLE WALKING ALONG SHOPPING STREET PEOPLE LOOKING AT STORE WINDOW PEOPLE LOOKING AT JEWELS ON DISPLAY IN STORE WINDOW PEOPLE WALKING ALONG STREET WITH CHRISTMAS LIGHTS CHRISTMAS TREE BELOW HISTORICAL BUILDING 'PALAZZO DELLA SIGNORIA' CHRISTMAS LIGHTS VARIOUS OF CROWDS OF PEOPLE WALKING THROUGH STREET WITH CHRISTMAS LIGHTS CHRISTMAS MARKET SET UP IN SQUARE 'PIAZZA SANTA CROCE' STATUE / CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS AT MARKET (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) LOCAL RESIDENT, ANTONELLA, SAYING: "I don't normally spend much, I don't overdo it, so for me it will be like previous years. I don't think the situation is any worse than previous years." (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) LOCAL RESIDENTS, DEBORAH, SAYING: "I think people will buy slightly less presents but more useful ones. For example, I will buy useful presents that people need." PARTNER OF DEBORAH, ALESSANDRO, SAYING: "And knowing beforehand if people are missing something, or if they need anything specific helps." (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) LOCAL RESIDENT, DANTE, SAYING: "We need to pay our taxes, a lot of taxes. Due dates are always punctual." JOURNALIST ASKING: "So have you come here just to look around?" MARIA PIA, WIFE OF DANTE, SAYING: "Yes, we just came to have a look." DANTE SAYING: "We just came to have a look. We might buy something small though." MAN LOOKING AT CHRISTMAS TREE DECORATIONS YOUNG CHILD LOOKING AT TOYS TOYS YOUNG CHILD ON FATHER'S SHOULDERS VARIOUS OF PEOPLE LOOKING AT MARKET STALLS CANDLES ON DISPLAY PEOPLE LOOKING AT MARKET STALLS
- Embargoed: 21st December 2016 11:35
- Keywords: Italy Florence Christmas shopping lights referendum
- Location: FLORENCE, ITALY
- City: FLORENCE, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Reuters ID: LVA0015BQX1L3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:In the Italian city of Florence Christmas lights decorated the shopping districts crowded with people preparing for the festive season but the mood was sombre among shoppers after the country fell into political turmoil following Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's defeat in a referendum on constitutional reform.
Renzi was the former mayor of Florence and the political upheaval is felt particularly strongly in the town. This Christmas he will now be freed up to spend time at his family home on the outskirts of the town following his announcement that he will soon tender his resignation.
A Franciscan church provided a backdrop for a Christmas market in the historical square 'Piazza Santa Croce' in the centre of the town where shoppers gathered in search of gifts for their family and friends.
But the Christmas spirit is somewhat mired this year as shoppers get to grips with the consequences of more political instability in the eurozone's third largest economy.
Italy's largely ceremonial head of state, President Sergio Mattarella, told Renzi on Monday (December 6) he needs to stay on until parliament had approved the 2017 budget. That could be achieved as soon as later this week, after which, the president said, he would be free to tender his resignation.
Some shoppers said Christmas would not be affected because of the political turmoil, for them, changing governments was nothing new.
But others said a period of uncertainty looming over the festive season would affect people's spending.
"I think people will buy slightly less presents but more useful ones. For example, I will make useful presents that people need," said local resident Deborah, who began her Christmas shopping with her partner at the market.
Others said their preferred to start the festive season only until after their tax deadlines in mid December.
"We need to pay our taxes, a lot of taxes. Due dates are always punctual," local resident Dante said. "We just came to have a look. We might buy something small though."
After the referendum on Sunday (December 4) the euro initially fell along with European stock and bond markets on concerns that early elections could follow, possibly paving the way for an anti-euro party to win power.
But markets rebounded as European officials dismissed talk of a broader eurozone crisis.
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.
The movement, founded by a former comedian, campaigned hard for a 'No' vote and wants to hold a referendum to ditch the European common currency.
Meanwhile Italians have become very good window shoppers particularly when it comes to trying to find a new government.
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