Rome: Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced he would resign at 1800 GMT Wednesday, three days after suffering a stinging defeat in a referendum on constitutional change.
The centre-left leader had announced he would step down immediately after the vote but was persuaded to stay on until the completion of parliamentary approval of Italy's 2017 budget, which happened on Wednesday.
"Budget law approved. Formal resignation at 1900. Thanks to everyone and viva l'Italia!" ("long live Italy!"), Renzi wrote on Twitter.
There had been speculation that Renzi would delay his final departure until Friday - Thursday being a public holiday in Italy - to give his party more breathing space.