EU leaders urge for calm after Renzi’s loss in Italy referendum

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has agreed to stay in power until the country’s annual budget is passed in the coming days.

FILE: A handout picture released by Bundesregierung, the Cabinet of Germany (From L) shows German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and French President Francois Hollande. Picture: AFP.

LONDON – European Union (EU) leaders are urging for calm after the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi lost a referendum and resigned.

Renzi has agreed to stay in power until the country’s annual budget is passed in the coming days.

However the vote and the resignation of one of the union’s staunchest supporters caused jitters on European markets.

EU leaders have closed ranks to play down the risks of fallout from the crisis.

Analysts are extremely concerned about Italy’s troubled banking sector and the no vote on constitutional reform is widely read as a rejection of establishment politics in the country.

Opposition parties have been calling for early elections.

They are angry at years of economic paralysis, and the issues caused by many thousands of migrants arriving from Africa.

They are opposed to the Eurozone but not the EU itself, views likely to cause sleepless nights ahead for some EU leaders.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)