As promised, Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi has formally tendered his resignation to the president.
His decision to step down after a crushing defeat in Sunday’s referendum has plunged the country into turmoil, with attention now turning to forming a new government.
Consultations start on Thursday and are due to last until Saturday afternoon.
Ugo Zampetti, secretary general of the Italian President announced: “The president reserved his decision and asked the government to remain in office for the current business. The head of State will start consultations with the political parties tomorrow, Thursday, December 8. The schedule of consultations will be announced through the press office.”
President Mattarella is expected to ask a member of Renzi’s Democratic party to try and head up a caretaker government. Although many across the political spectrum are hoping for early elections. Speeding up the timetable could mean gains for anti-establishment parties that want to turn their backs on the euro, something which has Brussels on edge.