Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi told a newspaper on Sunday that whatever the outcome of Greece's European Union referendum, Europeans must "start talking to each other again."
Renzi, referring a photo that showed a Greek pensioner crying in front of a bank in the Greek city of Thessaloniki, told the Il Messaggero daily newspaper,"When you see a pensioner crying in front of a bank, you realise that a country as important for the world and its culture as Greece cannot end up like this.”
Renzi also stressed the importance of the EU’s consultancy saying, "We must start talking to each other again - no one knows that more than (German Chancellor) Angela Merkel," Agence France Press reported.
Five months of fruitless talks to solve Greece's debt crisis have led the people of Greece to the polls. While millions of people rush to vote on Sunday’s referendum, the euro-currency area braces itself for its biggest challenge yet as its position in global financial markets is jeopardised.
Renzi also made an effort to reconcile Greece with its creditors, saying "Of course it is impossible to save Greece without the engagement of the Greek government and pension reforms, cracking down on tax evasion and a new labour market."
The Italian Prime Minister additionally stressed that Italy is not afraid of the consequences of a Greek implosion.
"We are not saying that everything is going to be fine, we only say that the work that has been done in the last few months puts Italy in a (better) condition than it was in the past. We are no longer in the dock, we are no longer spoken of in the same breath as our unfortunate Greek friends."
"We need to stop calling Italy the sick man of Europe, because it's no longer true," Renzi told Italian television channel TG5 on Saturday.
Renzi further told Italian economic daily in late June that their "concern isn't over what could happen to Italy, but over the scenarios of global difficulties that may arise," AFP reported.