World - - Dec 05,2016
Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to resign on Monday after the ‘dishearteningly-clear’ defeat in the Italian constitutional referendum
The Italian Constitutional Referendum, which was formally set to decide whether Italy should make amends to its 1948 constitution, ended up deciding the fate of the Italian government. The referendum initiated by PM Renzi was intended to decrease the powers of the Italian Parliament’s upper house, the ‘Senato’, by reducing the numbers from 315 to 100; making it merely a consultative assembly.
The referendum which was to be voted on December 4th, became a test of the PM’s waning popularity and popularity of the populist movement spreading steadily across all of Europe. Italy’s referendum defeat was not humbling, it was a wake-up call; a reverberation that spread across the country which 60% of the population supported.
Italy saw a campaign called “NO” being launched against the referendum. The NO campaign, headed by the anti-establishment Five Start Movement party and was led by an actor turned politician, Beppe Grillo. Being the beacon of Italy’s populist politics, the party and Beppe Grillo are expected to gain substantially if the general elections are called upon.
The referendum is considered a win for nationalist parties and the “euro-skeptic” populists who campaigned heavily against PM Renzi and his promises to help sustain the stagnant Italian economy.
When nearly 60% of the voters voted “no” for the referendum, Matteo Renzi said that he would quit the Prime Minister of Italy’s office on Monday. In an address to his supporters he said that, he cannot pretend like nothing has happened and move ahead as the Prime Minister; he accepted the defeat saying, “My government ends here today.”
After the PM’s announcement, Italy is looking up to the President to decide if he would piece together a new government from the existing parliament or if he would call for fresh general elections.