President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Kyriacos Mitsotakis on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the reconstruction of fire-stricken areas in Mati, the seaside resort near Athens that was devastated by deadly fires in 2018.
The MoU concerns the construction of a social housing complex, as well as the transformation of the wider green area into a forest recreation area, both of which will be funded through resources raised by the Republic of Cyprus and private donations.
The memorandum was co-signed by Energy Minister Natasa Pilides and Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras.
Mitsotakis thanked Cyprus for raising €11 million, a “very significant amount of money,” to help the fire-stricken areas.
Even though the project took longer than expected, he added, Greece is now ready to proceed with important works that will “bear the stamp of the Cypriot people” and will help meet the needs of the most vulnerable, whose homes were destroyed “on that disastrous July 2018 afternoon”.
Describing Cyprus’ contribution as a symbol of “the brotherly relationship between the two peoples”, Mitsotakis noted “that relations between Greece and Cyprus have been forged in the depths of history”.
In similar tones, Anastasiades said that the signing of the memorandum is an act of “fraternal solidarity, a minimum return of gratitude for Greece’s support in the difficult times that the Cypriot Hellenism is going through – a support that remains constant throughout history.
“It was the least we could contribute to alleviate the suffering of people who were left without homes, without their livelihoods. We have experienced similar situations during the Turkish invasion. So I sincerely feel that, today, we are signing a contract of brotherly ties that will give the opportunity with the construction of 98 housing units and a green space to provide relief to those who lived and experienced the devastation during the fire in Mati,” Anastasiades said.