In a symbolic move of solidarity with the Italian people hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, the Greek Foreign Ministry raised the Italian flag at the central building in Athens.
Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, Italian Ambassador to Greece Efisio Luigi Marras, and the President of the Hellenic Parliament Konstantinos Tasoulas, hoisted the Italian flag next to those of Greece and the European Union in a moving ceremony which aimed to pay Greece’s respects to the unbelievable human tragedy in Italy.
Addressing the attendees, Mr Dendias started and concluded his speech in Italian.
“Italian friends, our history, our common past and the road we have made together bring us here today, together again. Side by side for another battle, victorious as always,” Mr Dendias said.
“In this dramatic moment… we are with you. United we will rise.”
In response, Ambassador Marras said that Italian people will never forget “this important symbolic solidarity gesture that sees our flags united.”
“It is a gesture that expresses mourning for the many deceased, but also sympathy for the tragedy that their relatives live. A gesture of courage to those who are between life and death. And to all those who fight to save them,” he said.
The Greek Parliament will also hoist the Italian flag and will be illuminated for three nights in the national colors green, white and red.
According to official data, Italy now has almost 14,000 deaths and over 115,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.