Greek PM hails cooperation with China as part of new efforts to rebuild Greece

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-09 23:38:08|Editor: huaxia
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Aerial photo taken on Sept. 6, 2019 shows a cargo ship of COSCO SHIPPING Lines transporting Italian products to participate in the 2019 China International Import Expo (CIIE) to Shanghai, where the CIIE will be held, berths at the Port of Piraeus, Greece. (Photo by Lefteris Partsalis/Xinhua)

The "flagship project" China Ocean Shipping Company has made at the Piraeus Port amid the decade-long debt crisis is expected to generate new wealth for the austerity-hit Greek citizens.

ATHENS, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has praised his country's win-win cooperation with China as he renews efforts to rebuild the country.

He made the remarks on Saturday at the opening ceremony of the 84th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), the country's largest annual commercial exhibition, held in the northern port city of Thessaloniki.

Mitsotakis noted that the "flagship project" China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO Group) has made at the Piraeus Port amid the decade-long debt crisis is expected to generate new wealth to distribute to austerity-hit citizens.

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)

"COSCO submitted a bolder master plan which includes more investments for the expansion of sea cruise piers, new infrastructure and construction of hotels," said Mitsotakis, adding that the Ministry of Shipping will have a response next month.

"The total worth of the investment is about 800 million euros (880 million U.S. dollars) and 2,500 people will work during the works stage, while 3,000 permanent new job positions will be created," he said, referring to a few figures highlighting the project's benefits for the local economy.

COSCO Shipping Pisces, one of the world's largest container ships with a capacity of 20,000 TEU, is seen towed towards the dock of Piraeus port, Greece, Feb. 15, 2019.(Xinhua/Yu Shuaishuai)

The mutually-beneficial cooperation between the two countries also extends to education, said Mitsotakis at a press conference at the TIF's venue on Sunday.

The Greek government intends to launch programs at various Greek universities in English to attract more Chinese students, said Mitsotakis.

Chinese employees work at the shipyard of Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) in Perama, Greece, on Sept. 21, 2018.(Xinhua/Marios Lolos)

He believed that by supporting foreign investments, and implementing much needed reforms in the educational system and the functioning of the state and the economy generally, Greece can soon surprise the international community.

"Currently we not only have a vision for a better Greece, but also a plan," said Mitsotakis.