“No” led with some 60 percent of votes, with a turnout of 70 percent. Analysts fear that the outcome could lead to a crisis for the country’s already troubled banks.
Renzi conceded early Monday. President Sergio Mattarella must now decide whether to appoint a new prime minister or call an early election. Italy will have had six prime ministers in ten years.
While the referendum outcome in Italy marked a continuation of the populist, anti-establishment trend in international politics, the presidential election in Austria, also on Sunday, spelled a divergence. Alexander Van der Bellen, a former head of the country’s Green party and “pro-European” candidate, beat far-right politician Norbert Hofer in an election rerun called after voting irregularities the first time around. The election attracted attention across the European Union, in part because of its potential to serve as a harbinger of elections to come in France, Germany, and elsewhere in the bloc.