Renzi’s Office Denies He’ll Quit Even on Italian Referendum Win

  • Newspapers reported PM weighing resignation even if ‘Yes’ vote
  • Corriere della Sera said he would try to form new government

Nielsen: Italy Referendum Risks Need to Settle Down

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s office denied news reports that the premier is considering stepping down even if he wins the Dec. 4 referendum.

Officials dismissed the reports as speculation in a text message on Tuesday. Italian newspapers including Corriere della Sera reported earlier in the day that Renzi might resign even if voters on Sunday pass the constitutional reform he is requesting. The officials declined to be identified in line with internal policy.

“The Italian institutional system has many safeguards so there is always a government -- political, technocratic, super-political, hyper-political, hyper-technical,” Renzi told reporters on Monday, when asked about his plan for after Sunday’s vote. The premier has previously said in interviews and in speeches in the Rome-based Parliament that he would step down if he loses the referendum.

The newspapers said that Renzi would seek re-appointment after his potential resignation in order to form a new government with a broader majority within the current parliament. Under the plan, they said, the cabinet would be reshuffled and lawmakers would pass a new voting law before general elections next year or in 2018.

“If the ‘Yes’ wins, I don’t see why we shouldn’t use the time available between now and the natural end of the legislature in 2018 in the best way possible,” Culture Minister Dario Franceschini, a former leader of Renzi’s Democratic Party, said in an interview with state-run television network RAI on Tuesday. He declined to comment on the premier’s intentions for the time after the vote.

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