Renzi stepped down as Prime Minister of Italy

Matteo Renzi on Wednesday, December 7, officially announced his resignation from the post of Prime Minister of Italy, reports Reuters with reference to the statement of the President of the country.

The head of state Sergio Mattarella asked Renzi to continue to perform his duties until he holds talks with the political parties. These consultations will start on December 8 and will end on December 10.

Thus, he fulfilled the earlier promise to resign in case of failure in the referendum of the constitutional reform, the purpose of which was to change the existing bicameral system of Parliament. In August 2016, Renzi admitted that he “made a mistake”, too closely linking the referendum with their name.

In a referendum held in Italy on Sunday, 4 December, 60% of the population voted against the constitutional reform, rejecting the proposal to substantially reduce the powers of the Senate of the Italian Parliament. After the referendum the President of Italy Sergio Mattarella asked Renzi to delay his resignation until, yet will not be approved the Italian budget for 2017-2019.

Wednesday, December 7, the country’s budget was approved by the Senate of Italy, with 173 votes in favor and 108 votes against. Then Renzi said on his Twitter that a formal announcement of the resignation will follow in the evening.

The adopted draft budget provides for an increase in the deficit to 2.3% of GDP compared to a level of 1.8%, previously agreed with the European Commission. In addition, it provides for the abolition of protectionist measures for an automatic increase of VAT rates and excise duties, pensions and the introduction of Amnesty for “tax evaders”, informing about the hidden over the past 15 years from a authorities income.

The adopted draft does not meet the EU rules governing the adoption of budgets in the member States of the Union. According to the rules of the European Commission, EU member States must each year reduce their budget expenditures to at least 0,5% of GDP each year, until, until they reach balance or surplus budget.

The European Commission has postponed a decision on the question of what steps will be taken against the Italian budget until after the referendum. The Financial Times noted that this is done more for political than for economic reasons, i.e. in order not to trigger a surge of anti-European sentiment in the country on the eve of an important vote.

After retiring from the post of Prime Minister Renzi will remain the leader of the largest faction in Parliament, giving him a great opportunity to return to power after some time, noted Bloomberg.