Europe

Former Italian premier Monti comes out against referendum

  • President Barack Obama walks with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, to review the troops during a state arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

    President Barack Obama walks with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, to review the troops during a state arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)  (The Associated Press)

  • President Barack Obama and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi stand at attention as the Star Spangled Banner is played during a state arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

    President Barack Obama and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi stand at attention as the Star Spangled Banner is played during a state arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)  (The Associated Press)

  • President Barack Obama and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi listen to the National Anthem during a state arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    President Barack Obama and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi listen to the National Anthem during a state arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)  (The Associated Press)

Former Italian Premier Mario Monti has come out against a constitutional referendum on which the government's current leader has staked his future.

Premier Matteo Renzi has said he would resign if the referendum fails, and opposition politicians have come out strongly against it in a bid to force new elections. Renzi is campaigning hard to pass the measures, which he says will simplify bureaucracy and make the country more competitive.

Monti said in an interview published Tuesday in Corriere della Sera newspaper that the reforms proposed in the Dec. 4 referendum do not go far enough and he downplayed the risk of major political and economic problems in case the ballot question fails.

Monti's popularity plummeted after his 2011-2013 technical government, but he remains influential abroad.