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Renzi: Europe belongs to its citizens, not to banks

Staff writer |
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said there was no rift between Rome and Berlin over European fiscal policy and that Germany's central bank should not comment on Italian government policies.

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"I haven't seen any polemic with German politicians," Mr. Renzi said at a news conference to launch Italy's presidency of the European Union, when asked to comment on reports of a rift with Germany over the scope for budget flexibility.

"If you are referring to the comments of some German banker, the Bundesbank's job is to ensure respect of its statutes, not to participate in Italy's political debate. Europe belongs to its citizens, not to bankers, either Italian ones or German ones."

Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said Italy should complete structural reforms before calling for increased budget flexibility.

Mr. Renzi said he had an "excellent" relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and he had "very much appreciated" comments by her spokesman.

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