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[ROME] Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced on Tuesday that he would tender his resignation as a formality in deference to Italy's new president Sergio Mattarella, who was sworn in earlier.
Mr Renzi is expected to be immediately re-instated.
A key role of the Italian president is to appoint prime ministers. Therefore, it has sometimes been practice for standing prime ministers to step down in order to be immediately re-appointed by the new head of state.
Mr Mattarella could also choose to reject Mr Renzi's resignation altogether.