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Greeks and Chinese celebrate lunar holiday together

01-26-2014 14:44 BJT Special Report: 2014 Spring Festival |

By CCTV correspondent Eirini Zarkadoula from Athens

The Chinese Lunar New Year is just around the corner. And in Greece, festivities have already gotten underway. Organized by the Confucius Institute, the event was atteneded by representatives from major Chinese companies, as well as the Greek Ministry of Education and the new Chinese Ambassador to Greece.

It wasn’t kind of music you expect to hear in the land of Aristotle, Sophocles and the Parthenon.

And the ancient armies would be jealous of fighting moves like these.

But this year, Greeks are celebrating the New Year Chinese-style—the Lunar New Year, that is.

On hand for the celebrations, welcoming in the “Year of the Horse”—the new Chinese Ambassador to Greece, Zou Xiaoli.

"As a new Chinese Ambassador to Greece, I feel a true responsibility to promote further exchange between our two people and more cooperation between the two countries. I’m sure that through common effort our bilateral relations will have further progress in the New Year." Said Zou Xiaoli, Chinese ambassador to Greece.

They’re two of the world’s most ancient civilizations tied by recent acts of goodwill.

In 2011, Greece helped China evacuate 15,000 Chinese nationals from the fighting in Libya---deepening the meaning of this year’s festivities.

"We have very much hope that Greek-Chinese relations will become much stronger." Konstantine Gatsios, Rector of Athens Univ. of Economics & Business, said.

For Greece, the Year of the Horse could become the “Year of the Yuan.” China’s top leaders say they a doubling in trade between Greece and China by 2015.

A big chunk of that investment is being made by China Ocean Shipping Co. – better known as COSCO – which is expanding its multi-billion dollar container operations at Piraeus---Greece’s biggest port just south of Athens.

"In Greece we have very good economic environment. Maybe now there is still recession, but we believe it will recover soon." Said Zhang Anming, Deputy General Manager of Piraeus Container Terminal.

As these celebrations might suggest, Greek’s not only hope Chinese predictions will prove true, they’re counting on Chinese investment to help make them true.


Editor:James |Source:

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