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Popular New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced his shock resignation Monday, saying it was the right time to go after eight years in the job. Key, a former Merrill Lynch currency trader, had recently marked his eighth anniversary as prime minister and 10th year as leader of the centre-right National Party, which is set to meet next week to elect his successor. Deputy Prime Minister Bill English is widely seen as the favourite to take over.
By Crispian Balmer and Gavin Jones ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi vowed to resign after suffering a crushing defeat on Sunday in a referendum on constitutional reform, tipping the euzo zone's third-largest economy into political turmoil. The euro fell to 20-month lows against the dollar, with markets worried that instability in the euro zone's third largest economy could reignite a dormant financial crisis and deal a hammer blow to Italy's fragile banking sector. Renzi's resignation could open the door to early elections next year and to the possibility of an anti-euro party, the opposition 5-Star Movement, gaining power in the heart of the single currency.