Europe

Renzi starts final days as Italy premier with party huddle

  • Italian Premier Matteo Renzi, right, arrives at the Quirinale presidential palace to meet President Sergio Mattarella and tender his resignation in Rome, Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. Italian voters dealt Premier Matteo Renzi a resounding rebuke early Monday by rejecting his proposed constitutional reforms, plunging Europe’s fourth-largest economy into political and economic uncertainty. (Ettore Ferrari/ANSA via AP)

    Italian Premier Matteo Renzi, right, arrives at the Quirinale presidential palace to meet President Sergio Mattarella and tender his resignation in Rome, Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. Italian voters dealt Premier Matteo Renzi a resounding rebuke early Monday by rejecting his proposed constitutional reforms, plunging Europe‚Äôs fourth-largest economy into political and economic uncertainty. (Ettore Ferrari/ANSA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • 5-star Movement Vincenzo Santangelo gives directions to his party members during a vote on the articles of the 2017 budget law in the Italian Senate, in Rome, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. Italian President Sergio Mattarella told Italian premier Matteo Renzi, who decided to resign after a humiliating defeat in a referendum on government-championed reforms, to stay in office a bit longer until the critical budget law is passed. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    5-star Movement Vincenzo Santangelo gives directions to his party members during a vote on the articles of the 2017 budget law in the Italian Senate, in Rome, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. Italian President Sergio Mattarella told Italian premier Matteo Renzi, who decided to resign after a humiliating defeat in a referendum on government-championed reforms, to stay in office a bit longer until the critical budget law is passed. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this slow shutter speed photo senators vote during a confidence vote on the 2017 budget law at the Italian Senate, in Rome, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. Italian President Sergio Mattarella told Italian premier Matteo Renzi, who decided to resign after a humiliating defeat in a referendum on government-championed reforms, to stay in office a bit longer until the critical budget law is passed. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    In this slow shutter speed photo senators vote during a confidence vote on the 2017 budget law at the Italian Senate, in Rome, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. Italian President Sergio Mattarella told Italian premier Matteo Renzi, who decided to resign after a humiliating defeat in a referendum on government-championed reforms, to stay in office a bit longer until the critical budget law is passed. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

Italian Premier Matteo Renzi is opening his final days in office by meeting with his party members, as opposition leaders jockey for position following his resounding defeat in a weekend referendum.

Renzi will address his Democratic Party later Wednesday. The Senate, meanwhile, begins debating the 2017 budget, passage of which will trigger his official resignation.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella had asked Renzi to stay on until the crucial budget law clears before he begins consultations with political leaders on forming a government that can last until new elections are held. Those talks could start over the weekend.

Renzi sorely miscalculated in the runup to the Dec. 4 referendum on constitutional reforms, vowing to resign if it failed. In the end, 60 percent of voters cast "no" ballots.