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Italian PM Matteo Renzi delays resignation after President's plea

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Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, centre, arrives at the Presidential palace Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has agreed to delay his resignation after a personal plea from the country's President.
A statement from the Quirinal Palace confirmed that Mr Renzi had told President Sergio Mattarella that it was not possible for him to continue in his post following a heavy defeat in Sunday's referendum on constitutional reforms.
However, President Mattarella has asked Mr Renzi to stay on until the 2017 budget has been approved by parliament, which will potentially happen later this week.
The statement said that Mr Renzi could hand in his resignation once the budget is passed.
President Mattarella said the Prime Minister could resign after the budget is agreed. Pic: file
Image Caption: President Mattarella said the Prime Minister could resign after the budget is agreed. File pic
Mr Renzi, the head of the centre-left Democratic Party, has been Prime Minister since February 2014, but promised he would quit if he lost Sunday's vote.
He had staked his political future on the reform, which was aimed at weakening the powers of the upper house to help streamline Italy's notoriously lengthy legislative process.
It would have also cut down the number of senators and reduced the powers of regional authorities.
But he was attacked by his opponents, who described the reforms as dangerous for democracy.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi speaks during the last rally for a "Yes" vote i

Video: Renzi speaks after referendum defeat
Mr Renzi said he took full responsibility for the "extraordinarily clear" defeat, with the final count showing the "No" camp winning 59.1% to 40.9%.
The 41-year old former mayor of Florence told the country after his defeat: "My experience of government finishes here."
European leaders have been playing down the risks of any long-term fallout from the crisis in Italy.
Monday saw a slump in the euro, which fell sharply against the US dollar and hit its lowest level in more than four months against sterling.
Leader of the Five Star Movement and comedian Grillo gestures while speaking during an election campaign for European Parliament elections in Rome
Image Caption: Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement wants Italy out of the Eurozone
Coming after Brexit and Donald Trump's US election victory, Mr Renzi's defeat is being seen as another victory for the anti-establishment backlash sweeping much of Europe and America.
The referendum defeat is good news for the Italian opposition headed by former comedian Beppe Grillo's populist Five Star Movement, which wants Italy to ditch the euro.
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