by Alexia Vlachou
ATHENS, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- Greek citizens pin their hopes to exit the crisis on closer cooperation with non-EU countries, including China, the U.S. and Russia, a new survey showed on Saturday.
After three years of tough austerity and continuous pressure from European partners to implement more harsh measures in exchange of further financial aid to tackle the crisis, the majority of Greeks show increasing preference towards non-EU countries, according to the survey carried out by Kappa Research firm for Greek newspaper "To Vima" (The Tribune).
Given the present political and economic circumstances, the 48.2 percent of respondents said that Greece should develop closer relations with Russia over investment opportunities, a 45.9 percent of Greeks favored closer ties with China and 40.7 percent with the U.S.
United Arab Emirates rank fourth with 12.6 percent; Germany follows with 11.6 percent and France with 10.4 percent.
According to the survey, France is still considered the friendliest country to Greece with 72 percent. Russia follows with 68 percent, China with 60.1 percent and the U.S. with 56.5, while Greeks have the most negative opinion for Germany with 33.2 percent and Turkey with 21.8 percent.
In 2010 the ratings were 83.9 for France, 54.7 for Russia, 36.5 for China and 31 for the U.S.
The Kappa Research survey was conducted during August 9-13 with a sample of 857 respondents.