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UPDATE 1-Italy readies new anti-COVID stimulus package - minister

(Adds source, details)

ROME, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Italy is preparing another stimulus package to accompany stricter measures to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, Deputy Economy Minister Laura Castelli said on Tuesday.

The measures will cost at least 1.5 billion euros ($1.76 billion) and include grants to help businesses hit by the new restrictions Rome is due to present this week, a government source said.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Monday he would tighten COVID-19 restrictions while holding back from re-introducing a nationwide lockdown, in an effort to respond to a surge in infections, hospital admissions and deaths.

“The decree will again be accompanied by a stimulus package to support companies ... that are affected by the curbs,” Castelli said in a Facebook post, without elaborating.

“We are already working on it and it will be ready shortly.”

The package will not push this year’s budget deficit above its current target of 10.5% of gross domestic product, which already includes leeway for billions of euros of extra spending, the government source said. ($1 = 0.8543 euros) (Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Agnieszka Flak; editing by Gavin Jones)

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