Greece expects Italy's support, says ambassador to Rome

(AGI) Rome, Mar 5 - Greece "expects support from friendlycountries such as Italy," to put an end to a European policy"that focuses solely on austerity" and "to find the best,mutually acceptable ways to address the debt problem", saidAmbassador to Italy, Themistoklis Demiris, in an interview withAGI just over a month after the installation of the left-winggovernment led by Alexis Tsipras, which has called for a reviewof the planned cuts and reforms agreed with the troika. Speaking about the situation in his country, the ambassadorsaid that austerity has resulted in a 25 percent

(AGI) Rome, Mar 5 - Greece "expects support from friendlycountries such as Italy," to put an end to a European policy"that focuses solely on austerity" and "to find the best,mutually acceptable ways to address the debt problem", saidAmbassador to Italy, Themistoklis Demiris, in an interview withAGI just over a month after the installation of the left-winggovernment led by Alexis Tsipras, which has called for a reviewof the planned cuts and reforms agreed with the troika. Speaking about the situation in his country, the ambassadorsaid that austerity has resulted in a 25 percent drop in GDP,"with horrendous social consequences: hundreds of thousands ofjobs lost, an unemployment rate of 27 percent and a drop inliving standards." He went on: "Not only have the policies ofausterity led to a dramatic worsening of daily life and loss ofhuman dignity for thousands of our fellow citizens, but also,in spite of everything, the country's debt instead ofdecreasing has exploded from 127 percent to 175 percent of GDP.At this point it should be remembered that other Europeancountries reported heavy debt and from this we understand thatthis is a European problem that should be addressed as such." The ambassador said that the new government of Alexis Tsipras"has repeatedly guaranteed its commitment not to take anyunilateral action. Greece aims to honour its commitments to itscreditors" and "the four-month bridging agreement that has beenagreed gives breathing space for the government to address thehumanitarian crisis and introduce reforms, aiming at growth,because only through growth will the debt prove sustainable andso that Greece will be able to meet its obligations to thepeoples and governments of the friends who have helped it,without destroying its future." .