Italy's Renzi says will hike deficit if needed for earthquake relief

November 2, 2016 8:38 AM EDT

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi greets supporters during a rally in downtown Rome, Italy October 29, 2016. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

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ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Wednesday he would increase government borrowing if more money is required to help communities affected by the latest earthquake that hit central Italy on Sunday.

In September, Renzi hiked Italy's budget deficit target for next year to 2.3 percent of gross domestic product from 1.8 percent previously, creating tensions with the European Commission, which requested explanations.

"If we need more resources we will put more money in by pushing up the deficit," Renzi said in a radio interview with state channel RAI.

(Reporting by Massimiliano Di Giorgio, writing by Gavin Jones)

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