Germany ‘concerned’ by Matteo Renzi downfall, Steinmeier says

Germany ‘concerned’ by Matteo Renzi downfall, Steinmeier says

Germany is "concerned" by the government crisis in Italy sparked by the resignation of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi following his referendum defeat, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Monday.

"We are watching the result in Italy with concern," Steinmeier, who is visiting Greece, told Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in televised remarks.

"I think Renzi did the right thing, the necessary thing, but voters did not support him," he said through a translator.

"This is not of course a state crisis, but it's a government crisis that needs to be resolved… it's not a positive message to Europe at a difficult time," he added.

Italians voted on Sunday against proposed reforms that would have curtailed the size and powers of the Senate and transferred powers from regions to the national government.

Opposition parties had denounced the proposed amendments to the constitution as dangerous for democracy because they would have removed important checks and balances on executive power.

Interior Ministry projections suggested the No camp, led by the populist Five Star Movement, had been backed by 59.5 per cent of those who voted. [AFP]

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