The European Union should redirect its whole economic policy towards growth, investments and employment, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said in an exclusive interview with Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Wednesday.

Gentiloni will be in Corfu on Thursday where he will participate in the 1st Intergovernmental Conference between Greece and Italy, during which he will meet and hold a joint press conference with Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras.

"The main priority is definitely employment. Because we know it can not only be the result of a formal agreement between European countries. We also have proposals for common security for employment, which we have presented to the European Union as the Italian government," he said when asked about the need to create jobs in both countries.

"It is, however, the whole economic policy that must be redirected towards growth, investment and employment. If we do not do it now, I think we will miss a great opportunity; for countries such as France, Spain, Greece and Italy, for all the countries of Mediterranean Europe, which have particularly significant potential for economic growth in the coming years," he added.

Commenting on the conference, the Italian premier said the main message is the consolidation of bilateral relations since it is the first intergovernmental conference on all levels of Greek-Italian relations.

"Our two countries have been connected for centuries, from millennia of common history. On the one hand, there is satisfaction on the level of our trade, which is excellent, and on the other, there is Italy's desire to multiply its investments in Greece, beginning with sectors such as rail transport and beyond. Of course, there is also a general joint commitment to European issues," he said.