ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called on Tuesday for a change of course in Europe, saying that austerity policies on their own could not guarantee stability in the face of rising unemployment and economic stagnation.
Speaking in parliament ahead of this week's European Union summit, Renzi said Italy was not asking for a relaxation of EU budget rules but wanted them to be more flexibly applied in exchange for commitment to a package of domestic structural reforms which Italy would achieve by 2017.
"The treaty obliges us to look at growth and stability as elements which go together. There can be no stability possible if there is no growth in Europe and economic policies of recent years have failed because of this," he said.
(Reporting By James Mackenzie; editing by Alessandra Galloni)