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ROME, June 16 (Reuters) - The Italian government has intervened to prevent struggling lender Veneto Banca from having to repay subordinated bonds due to mature next week, a government source said on Friday.
Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni's cabinet approved an emergency decree to suspend the payment, which is due on June 21, the source said, after a cabinet meeting called to address the issue.
The move comes as Italy races against the clock to win EU approval for a bail out of Veneto Banca and rival regional bank Banca Popolare di Vicenza, which together need 6.4 billion euros ($7 billion) in new capital while they try to offload bad debts.
Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte,; Writing by Gavin Jones; Editing by Isla Binnie