Italy PM tells Bundesbank chief to fix Germany's bank problems

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi speaks during a news conference at Palazzo Chigi in Rome, Italy, March 22, 2016. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Monday that Germany’s central bank chief Jens Weidmann should concentrate on fixing the problems of his own country’s banks, after Weidmann had urged Italy to cut its huge public debt.

Renzi told reporters in New York that Weidmann needed to solve the problem of German banks which had “hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of billions of euros of derivatives” on their books.

Renzi, who has staked his career on a referendum on constitutional reform this autumn, has repeatedly criticized other European leaders in the last few days over what he sees as an inadequate European Union response to the problems of the economy and immigration.

In an interview with daily La Stampa published on Monday, Weidmann said Italy needed to consolidate its budget to avoid doubts emerging about the sustainability of its public debt.

writing by Gavin Jones, editing by Isla Binnie