Friday, January 15News For London

Triumph for the far-right: Italian PM resigns after referendum

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi will resign today. It follows his defeat in a referendum on reforms he asked for.

Italian Prime Minster Matteo Renzi (Photo permitted by: thierry ehrmann-Flickr)
Italian Prime Minster Matteo Renzi (Photo permitted by: thierry ehrmann-Flickr)


Renzi said to journalists even before the official announcement of results: “My experience as a Prime Minster ends here.” He added: “I lost and I take full responsibility for that.”

Voters were asked to approve amendments to the Italian Constitution to reform the composition and powers of the Parliament of Italy. This would allow a division of powers between the State, the Regions, and administrative entities.

Renzi will go today to the presidential palace to hand in his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella who will manage a transitional period in Italy.


Mr. Mattarella can call for early elections, or set a government of “technocrats” like the one Italy had before amending the electoral law in 2015.

The electoral law in Italy was passed in May 2015, and grants the majority in the House of Representatives to the party that wins with more than 40% of the votes in the first round.

According to the latest opinion polls in Italy, the five-star party will win a ballot of this kind.

The Northern League Party and The Five-Star Movement that belong to the far-right wing asked to hold general elections as soon as possible.

The leader of the Northern League party, Matteo Salvini said: “We are ready for elections as soon as possible, under any electoral law.” He added. “We believe Italy could not afford several months of discussions about a new electoral system.”

The leader of the Five-Star Movement, Beppe Grillo said: “Italians must call for elections as soon as possible.” He added: “The fastest and the most realistic way is to go to vote immediately and the electoral law already exists.”


Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Fawaz Gerges told us: “Renzi’s resignation brings unstable phase in the Italian politics as well as in the EU.” He added” This is another victory for the far-right wing in Europe. The question now is about the ability of the political traditional elites to maintain the bases they built since the end of World War II.”

In September, the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AFD) defeated Angela Merkel’s party in a key regional vote. This was followed by the rise of the populist party, The National Front, in France just six months before the presidential election.