Aerial photo taken on Jan. 16, 2019 shows the Piraeus port, Greece. In 2016, China’s COSCO SHIPPING purchased a 67-percent stake in Piraeus port, which was then struggling. (Xinhua/Wu Lu)
“We make donations to all of the cities in the Attica area. We wish them to be living in happiness and also in good health.”
ATHENS, May 20 (Xinhua) — The Greek government and local mayors of municipalities in western Athens welcomed on Wednesday a donation of sanitary material made by Piraeus Port Authority S.A. (PPA) and COSCO Shipping to be used by municipal employees in the ongoing battle against the COVID-19.
During an event held at Peristeri municipality, 10,000 protective masks and 10,000 gloves were delivered. They will be distributed to municipal staff of the cleaning sector of seven municipalities.
“This shows solidarity, this shows commitment to the community. This is an act that is highly appreciated by us because it shows that COSCO is here to stay and engage with the local community,” Greek Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, who attended the ceremony, told Xinhua.
COSCO Shipping acquired a majority stake in PPA in 2016 after an international tender, while the group’s subsidiary Piraeus Container Terminal S.A. (PCT) manages the port’s container terminal since 2009, posting remarkable results in both cases.
Since the start of the outbreak of COVID-19 epidemic in Greece on Feb. 26, PPA and PCT have made many donations to local authorities to assist in the common challenge.
The new donation aims to highlight the significance of the role of cleaning personnel in this fight.
“All the lights have been spotting the hospitals and the nurses and the doctors. These people were also exposed to dangers throughout the crisis, but they never ceased to work and operate. We want to say to them a big thank you for their commitment and their work,” Varvitsiotis stressed.
“China and Greece have a very good relationship. As the management of PPA, we are running PPA very well, but all of the works have to be done by the employees,” PPA S.A. Chairman Yu Zenggang said on his part, noting that several PPA employees’ families reside in these municipalities.
“We make donations to all of the cities in the Attica area. We wish them to be living in happiness and also in good health,” Yu told Xinhua.
On behalf of the local administration, Mayor of Peristeri, Andreas Pachatouridis, expressed the local communities’ gratitude for the donors.
“They have passed the test of solidarity. They are helping people a lot and on this occasion. We would like to thank them for bringing here today in western Athens tens of thousands of gloves and masks to offer to those serving in sanitation services. We thank them a lot,” Pachatouridis said.
Mayors and representatives of all seven municipalities, as well as other PPA SA managers, attended Wednesday’s event.
According to the latest official data provided by the Health Ministry, so far Greece has registered 2,840 infections, including 165 fatalities.
From March 23 until May 4 the entire country was in lockdown. In the past few weeks, authorities have started easing restrictions and Greece is gradually going back to normal.