Europe

Renzi to Italy's feuding Democrats: Populists are the enemy

Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi arrives at the PD meeting in Rome, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. The former Italian Premier admonished his Democratic Party Monday to quit internal squabbling and focus instead on defeating populist politicians in the era of what he called ‘’Trumpism’’ and protectionism politics gaining popularity in Europe. (Maurizio Brambatti/ANSA via AP)

Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi arrives at the PD meeting in Rome, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. The former Italian Premier admonished his Democratic Party Monday to quit internal squabbling and focus instead on defeating populist politicians in the era of what he called ‘’Trumpism’’ and protectionism politics gaining popularity in Europe. (Maurizio Brambatti/ANSA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Former Italian Premier Matteo Renzi has urged his Democratic Party to quit its internal squabbling and focus instead on defeating populists during what he dubbed the era of "Trumpism" and protectionism.

Renzi cited U.S. President Donald Trump while making a pitch to other top Democratic figures Monday for a united front with an eye on national elections that might come as soon as the spring.

Renzi resigned as Italy prime minister after losing a Dec. 4 referendum on key reforms of his government. He remains the Democrats' leader

Renzi said the party, now the biggest in Parliament, should concentrate on countering "Trumpism," or "at least Grillo-ism" on the rise in Italy. He was referring to comic Beppe Grillo, whose anti-euro, populist 5-Star Movement aims to govern Italy.