>> Political turmoil, a tanking currency, and a prime minister stepping down after a crushing defeat. Italians waking up to a chaotic picture on Monday morning. Matteo Renzi promising to resign, following a heavy loss in a referendum that deals a big blow to the EU.>>
> I lost, and I say it loud and clear, even if I have a lump in my throat.
>> He wanted backing for changes intended to streamline government and speed up lawmaking. Reuters, Isla Binnie, in Rome says, Italy must now get on with recruiting a new leader.>> At this point, it's up in the air who could replace Renzi. Italy's Head of State, President Sergio Mattarella must ask a candidate.
Names including members of Renzi's own party have been floated. Possibly a safe pair of hands like Economy Minister, Pier Carlo Padoan, or an institutional figure like the Head of the Senate, Pietro Grasso.>> Early elections next year, now a very real possibility, as the country picks its fifth PM in as many years.
After Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, many people see the same populist, anti-establishment forces behind Renzi's rejection. Now waiting in the wings, the far-right Five Star Movement.>> The Five Star Movement is currently, more or less, neck and neck with Renzi's Democratic Party, in the polls, so there would seem to be a lot of popular support for them.
It will come down to how the electoral law is actually played out, and how much the opposition parties will want to keep Five Star out of power.>> If they were to make it into power, they've promised a referendum on ditching the euro, a prospect that's sending shivers through currency markets.
The euro now hitting 20-month lows, as instability in Europe's third-largest economy threatens to rekindle a dormant financial crisis.