A year-and-a-half after he was appointed as Italy’s unelected head of a unity government, Mario Draghi has resigned as prime minister.
He told President Sergio Mattarella he was standing down after three parties in his government refused to back him in a confidence vote the night before.
The president asked him to remain as caretaker leader until early elections, expected this autumn.
Mr Draghi, 74, is a popular figure in Italy.
He was dubbed Super Mario for his handling of the eurozone crisis as head of the European Central Bank.
However, one of the parties in his broad-based government refused to back his economic package a week ago prompting a political crisis.
President Mattarella asked him to stay in the post but he was unable to command the support of the coalition when he proposed a revived government agreement on Wednesday.