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Opponents celebrate Renzi defeat

4:10am GMT - 00:58

Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is poised to hand in his formal resignation after losing a referendum on constitutional reform. Paul Chapman reports.

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Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced his resignation when it became clear he was losing a referendum on constitutional reform. (SOUNDBITE)(Italian) ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER MATTEO RENZI SAYING: "Tomorrow I will call a cabinet meeting and I will thank my colleagues for an extraordinary adventure. It's been a united, strong and compact team. I will then go to the presidential palace where I will tender my resignation to the president." Campaigners who opposed his plans for reform were celebrating on Sunday. Renzi said his reforms would have given Italy greater political stability. Opponents said they put at risk vital democratic checks and balances. Renzi's resignation could open the door to early elections next year. That raises the possibility of a win by the anti-euro 5-Star Movement which wants a referendum on Italy's membership of the single currency.

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Opponents celebrate Renzi defeat

4:10am GMT - 00:58