December 5, 2016 / 9:45 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Italy should continue Renzi economic course -Schaeuble

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BRUSSELS, Dec 5 (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Monday that Italy should continue the economic reforms begun by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who resigned after a heavy defeat in a referendum on constitutional amendments.

Speaking on arrival at a meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Brussels, Schaeuble said he had spoken to his Italian counterpart and believed that it was important for Italy now to have a functioning government.

Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan was skipping the Brussels meeting and is among possible successors to Renzi.

“Italy has to continue in a consistent manner on the path that Prime Minister Renzi has taken economically and politically over the past three years. Those responsible in Italy know that,” Schaeuble said.

He also said investors should be relaxed about the Italian referendum, which was a domestic issue, and said he saw no grounds for there to be a crisis for the euro currency.

“I think we should see the situation in Italy with a certain calmness. That is how democratic and constitutional processes work in the member states. The Italians have decided, that is to be respected. They will make the best of it,” he said.

“I think there is no need to talk about a euro crisis,” he added. “There is certainly no need to talk up a euro crisis.” (Reporting by Alastair Macdonald; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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