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  Matteo Renzi, exit stage left
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Last EditedIndyGeorgia  Mar 12, 2018 07:33pm
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AuthorGiada Zampano
News DateMonday, March 12, 2018 08:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionROME — Matteo Renzi’s resigned — and this time for real.

The Democratic Party leader’s resignation letter was delivered to party bosses on Monday, firing the starting gun on a heated debate over his successor and the future of the Italian left.

“I resigned as the PD’s secretary as it’s fair to do after a defeat,” Renzi wrote on Monday in a Facebook post, responding to a letter from a young supporter. “But we’re not giving up, we’ll never leave the future to the others.”

Renzi’s PD was the biggest loser in Italy’s March 4 election, finishing in third place behind the center-right coalition now dominated by the far-right League of Matteo Salvini and the anti-establishment 5Star Movement.

Renzi’s quick ascent to power and rapid fall from it mirrors his party’s fortunes. When he stormed the political scene five years ago, Renzi was hailed as the ambitious young leader who could spearhead the renaissance of the left across the Continent.

Over four years, however, the PD went from winning 41 percent of the Italian vote in the 2014 European election to securing a meager 19 percent in last week’s national ballot, as voters blamed it for a fragile economic recovery, mass migration and a growing gap between the PD and its working-class supporters.

Yet as neither the center-right alliance nor the 5Star Movement are able to form a government alone, the PD has found itself in the uncomfortable position of reluctant kingmaker whose support would allow its rivals to govern.
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