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Italian PM Matteo Renzi set to hand in resignation

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is to resign after defeat in Sunday's referendum. Credit: Reuters

The Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has said he will resign on Wednesday evening following approval of the 2017 national budget.

He offered his resignation following defeat in Sunday's referendum on legislative changes.

But President Sergio Mattarella told Renzi to stay in office until the budget was passed in parliament.

Renzi tweeted that he plans to go to the president to resign at 7pm (1800 GMT).

PM Renzi told to delay resignation by president

Matteo Renzi has promised to resign as Italian Prime Minister Credit: Reuters

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has been told to delay resigning following his defeat in Sunday's referendum.

The 41-year-old promised he would stand down if he was defeated in the referendum, which asked Italians to vote on legislative changes.

But Renzi was told by Italy's President Sergio Mattarella to put his planned resignation on hold until parliament had approved the 2017 budget - which could be done as early as Friday.

Once the budget is passed, he will be allowed to step down, a presidential statement said.

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Italian populist party 'poised to govern'

5-Star Movement leader Beppe Grillo Credit: Reuters

The populist 5-Star Movement says it's poised to govern Italy now that Premier Matteo Renzi has announced his resignation.

The Movement, led by comic Beppe Grillo, spearheaded the winning "No"-vote campaign in a referendum on constitutional reforms.

Grillo called for an election to be called "within a week".

Luigi Di Maio, a 5-Star leader, says the vote shows "it's the citizens who run the institutions," not one man like Renzi.

Di Maio says "starting tomorrow we'll be at work on a 5-Star government."

Renzi said the reforms would have cut Italy's bureaucracy and made the country more competitive.

His opponents were hoping to tap into the populist sentiment that has been gaining ground in Europe with Brexit and in the US with the election of Donald Trump.

'No' supporters celebrate on streets of Rome after win

Supporters of the "no" campaign in Italy's referendum on constitutional reform took to the streets to celebrate victory on Sunday night.

People chanted and waved banners in the streets of Rome in the wake of the result, which prompted Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to announce that he intends to resign.

Five Star Movement calls for early Italian elections

Alessandro Di Battista of the Five Star Movement. Credit: Reuters

The movement that spearheaded the winning "no" campaign in Italy's referendum has called for early elections to replace Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who has said he will resign following the vote.

Leaders of the populist Five Star Movement, the main rivals to Renzi's Democrats, are anxious to achieve national power for the first time.

Alessandro Di Battista, an MP for the movement, said: "The Five Star Movement isn't the only one who won, it was a battle of most Italian citizens who rejected a constitutional reform that deprived the Italian people of the umpteen rights."

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Early Italian election could impact financial markets

An early general election in Italy could have implications for financial markets, ITV News Europe Editor James Mates said.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has said he intends to resign after being defeated in a referendum on constitutional reform.

Our correspondent said that there could be an election as soon as mid-2017.

Italian PM Matteo Renzi to resign after referendum loss

Matteo Renzi speaks following the referendum. Credit: Reuters

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has said he intends to resign after being defeated in a referendum on constitutional reform.

Exit polls suggested he had suffered a heavy defeat, having staked his career on winning the referendum.

Mr Renzi said the "no" camp won "extraordinarily clearly" and that he took "full responsibility" for the defeat.

"The experience of my government ends here," he said in a televised address to the nation.

The prime minister said it was now up to the "no" camp to make clear proposals about what to do.

Italian exit poll shows heavy defeat for PM Renzi

Exit polls in Italy suggest the Prime Minister has suffered a heavy defeat in a referendum over constitutional reform.

Italian PM Matteo Renzi cast his vote in Italy's referendum Credit: Reuters

Matteo Renzi has said he would resign if the Italian people reject his plan to reduce the role of the Upper House Senate and claw back powers from regional authorities.

A loss could plunge the country into political turmoil, which could have ramifications for the rest of Europe too.

Italian populist parties - including the anti-immigrant Northern League - have been waiting in the wings, banking on Renzi losing the referendum in the hope of seizing power themselves.

Renzi is due to address the nation at midnight local time (11pm GMT).

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