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Renzi calls for Greece talks to focus on growth

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Renzi calls for Greece talks to focus on growth
Italian PM Matteo Renzi with Greek counterpart, Alexis Tsipras. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP
15:40 CEST+02:00
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Monday called for talks on resolving Greece's debt crisis to not focus only on austerity but also on strategies to boost growth.

"We have been urging for months to talk not only about austerity and balance sheets but about growth, infrastructure, common policies on migration, innovation, the environment," he wrote on his Facebook page

"Tomorrow's meetings should point to a definitive way to resolve this emergency," Renzi said, referring to a meeting on Tuesday of EU finance ministers and a summit of Eurogroup leaders in Brussels.

But he urged that negotiations not forget the larger "more fascinating and complex" picture of building Europe, considering "policies and not just parameters, values and not just numbers.

"If we remain immobile, prisoners to regulation and bureaucracy, Europe is finished," he said. "To build a different Europe will not be easy, after what has happened these past years. But it is the right time to try to do it, all together."

Renzi, who spoke for two hours early on Monday with his Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, has since coming to power in February 2014 advocated policies promoting growth in Europe and scrapping draconian austerity measures.

Italy's secretary of state for European affairs, Sandro Gozi, for his part urged an accord that would keep Greece in the eurozone.

"I don't think it is in anyone's interest to make Greece leave the monetary union," he said on Italian television.

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