And one way or another, it's may usher in a new acute phase of the eurozone crisis that has been underway since 2009 with no end in sight.
Claire Phipps and Jon Henley report on the story for the Guardian, Italy referendum: Matteo Renzi to resign after defeat as Austria rejects far right
This is a big deal. "Italy is not voting to leave the eurozone or the EU. But there could still be far-reaching implications. Renzi came into power promising to be a reformer, to drag Italy “out of the swamp” and build a strong centre-left majority, so his loss is a big blow to people who think his defeat is a rejection of his agenda.BBC News has this report, Italy referendum: PM Matteo Renzi resigns after clear referendum defeat 12/05/2016.
It will also be seen, much like Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, as a victory of populist forces over an establishment party, although the reality is more complicated. A new caretaker government will probably take over and new elections could be held as soon as next year."