Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi speaks during a media conference after a referendum on constitutional reform at Chigi palace in Rome, Italy, December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
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Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi formally resigned Monday after a crushing referendum defeat that has sent shock waves around Europe – though his departure will be delayed by a final task, passing a budget.Renzi handed his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella after Italians resoundingly rejected his constitutional reform proposals in Sunday's referendum, to the delight of the country's populist leaders, fresh after Brexit and Donald Trump's U.S. victory.The departure of the center-left premier, who had staked his future on the outcome of the vote, plunges Italy into political uncertainty and casts a shadow over the future of the eurozone's third-largest economy.Italian bond yields rose slightly, having already edged up prior to Sunday's vote.The vote inevitably became something of a referendum on Renzi's personality and record after his pledge to stand down should he lose, and an opportunity for some to express wider frustrations.
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