Renzi says he's on France's 'side' in budget row - update 2

States should not be treated like 'students' says premier

(ANSA) - London, October 2 - Italian Premier Matteo Renzi said Thursday that he was on France's "side" after Paris said it will not respect the EU's 3% deficit-to-GDP-ratio limit until 2017. "I respect the decision of a free and friendly country like France," Renzi told reporters after meeting British Premier David Cameron in London. "No one should treat the other countries like you treat students. I'm on the side of (French President) Francois Hollande and (Prime Minister) Manuel Valls".
    The leader of the centre-left Democratic Party stressed, however, that this did not mean Italy would feel free to breach the 3% threshold.
    "We'll respect the 3% limit that we've given ourselves," Renzi said. "Naturally the situation for Italy is different (to France's)".


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