The Chinese community in Greece has demonstrated its solidarity with Greek society, as the country is trying to cope with the deadliest fires in more than a decade since July 23.
Wildfires raging through seaside resorts near the Greek capital have torched homes, cars and forest areas, killing at least 80 people, according to the latest update by local authorities.
Thousands of volunteers and organizations have been mobilized to offer support. The response of the public was so great that the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (KEDE) asked citizens on Wednesday to stop gathering food, water and clothing as there was oversupply and it was impossible to manage its volume. Medicines, blood donations and batteries were still needed.
Representatives of the Chinese community in Greece meanwhile had gathered in a square in the heart of Athens and started to collect clothes, shoes, personal care items and money to buy medical supplies for the victims of the fire.
"We are together, together we will succeed" was the slogan of the effort, while many Chinese like He Ai, owner of a travel agency, visited the affected areas to offer help. "We came here to help the people, if we can do just a little thing to help them we will feel much better," she told Xinhua.
"Up to now, about 500 Chinese donated money or other things. There will be more to come of course," said Chen Feng, president of the Chinese community of Greece who coordinated the task of collecting items.
"Greece is our second home, we should contribute to the people who lost everything in the fires," he added, recounting that the Greek government offered help in the evacuation of Chinese nationals from Libya.
In 2014, Greece helped in the evacuation of thousands of Chinese workers caught up in fighting in Libya. Within days, they were transferred from restive Libya to Crete island, about 700 km away from Libyan capital Tripoli across the Mediterranean Sea.
Talking to Xinhua, Fotis Provatas, president of the Greek-Chinese Economic Council, made a special reference to the strong Greek-Chinese ties and the friendship of the two peoples and praised the initiatives taken by the Chinese community to help.
(Xinhua News Agency July 25, 2018)