BREAKING: Italian PM steps down; another European crisis looming?

Photo: Anthony Moretti, 27May2016

Photo: Anthony Moretti, 27May2016

The New York Times examines what prompted Matteo Renzi to resign.

“Good luck to us all,” Renzi told reporters after saying he would tell a Cabinet meeting Monday afternoon he is resigning. Then he will tender his resignation to the Italian president after 2 1/2 years in office.

Renzi conceded defeat after exit polls showed his proposal losing by a margin of about 60 percent to 40 percent in Sunday’s referendum.

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 and the U.S.

The Globe and Mail notes that French politicians were quick to pick up on that populist theme.

In a tweet, Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s anti-EU, xenophobic National Front party said “The Italians have disavowed the EU and Renzi. We must listen to this thirst for freedom of nations and protection!”

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