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Greeks express solidarity with Chinese people in novel coronavirus outbreak
Greeks and Chinese people living in Greece hold red lanterns at the foot of the Acropolis hill, Athens, Greece.
The pedestrian path at the foot of the Acropolis hill in the heart of Athens was lit red on Friday evening for an hour, as Greeks and Chinese people living in Greece held a symbolic gathering and walked around the neighborhood holding Chinese red lanterns.

Under the auspices of the City of Athens, the Chamber of Greek-Chinese Economic Cooperation, along with business associations of the Chinese community in Athens and other groups representing citizens of Athens, organized the event to express solidarity with the Chinese people who are battling the novel coronavirus outbreak and stigmatization.

"We feel obliged ... this is something we feel deep in our souls, to offer support, to tell them we are here, standing by their side, they are in our thoughts, they have our solidarity. This is very important and we see it from their reactions to our emails," said Fotis Provatas, president of the chamber and former vice mayor of Athens.

George Vernicos, president of the Economic and Social Council of Greece, general secretary of the Greek Tourism Confederation and general secretary of the chamber, was also among the participants.
Greeks and Chinese people living in Greece hold red lanterns at the foot of the Acropolis hill, Athens, Greece.

"There are very close ties connecting Greeks and Chinese historically and culturally. Whatever concerns China affects us and we feel the impact immediately. Therefore, we wish to send a message of friendship and solidarity that we stand by their side in this difficult period," Vernicos said.

"We are here to send a message of solidarity with Chinese people. We are all Chinese," said Stavros Monemvasiotis, member of the Chamber of Greek-Chinese Economic Cooperation.

"We hope that this will be over very soon so that we continue our creative cooperation," said Kostas Konstantinidis, managing director of a company specializing in digital consultancy in culture, which has been promoting China-Greece cultural exchanges in recent years.

Culture has been a strong link between China and Greece, the two ancient civilizations, and cultural exchanges between them have increased in recent years, strengthening bilateral friendship and cooperation in many other fields.

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