Former Italian premier Monti comes out against referendum

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.