Rome aims to protect its high public debt from potential financial shocks by raising the share of government bonds held by Italians and foreign citizens living in the country, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni was quoted as saying on Thursday.

The only way to make high public debt sustainable is through economic growth, not "the blind austerity policies seen in the past years," Meloni said in an interview to Il Sole 24 Ore daily. (Reporting by Francesca Piscioneri, editing by Federico Maccioni)