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Italy's prime minister Renzi confirms resignation, hints at early elections

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Italy's prime minister Renzi confirms resignation, hints at early elections
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Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has officially tendering his resignation, stepping down after losing a referendum on Sunday.

Speaking at his Democratic party’s headquarters ahead of his meeting with the president he hinted that he favoured early elections, ahead those expected in 2018.

“If other political forces want to vote, the Democratic Party is not afraid of democracy”.

Renzi’s defeat in Sunday’s vote and his subsequent decision to quit has thrown the country into political turmoil with questions remaining over how long a technocratic government would stay in power, and whether early elections would be called, as well as what will happen over a looming banking crisis.

President Sergio Mattarella could call on Renzi to stay in caretaking role, before any decision is taken on speeding up the timetable for the next vote. Fresh elections could mean gains for anti-establishment parties that want to turn their backs on the euro, something which has Brussels on edge.