Cretan hospitality contributes to the 2011 evacuation of Chinese nationals
In our times, when displacement is rapidly growing worldwide, countries should work together to alleviate the hardships endured by a large part of the global population. In periods of crises and turmoil, at the same time, countries and societies should lend a helping hand to the people in need.
Taking that into consideration, in 2011 Crete became a bridge for cooperation and peaceful coexistence among people living on the shores of the Mediterranean.
Local government and state institutions, as well as private entrepreneurs from the shipping sector and volunteers, have defended the principles of solidarity, humanitarianism and the rule of law.
Responding to emergency situations of those days ― within the framework of their responsibilities ― the Region of Crete actively contributed to the transfer of over 2,000 Chinese nationals from Libya to Crete. That has been a diplomatic and humanitarian mission, as the safe repatriation of Chinese national to their homeland with a stopover on the island of Crete brought to the fore humanitarian issues.
Eleven years later and once again we express our heartfelt gratitude to all those who have made a decisive contribution to the safe transport. Moreover, we are sure that in any similar case, the concepts of Cretan hospitality and the willingness to offer will remain deeply engraved in the minds of all Cretans, as the values of a world that serves peace, solidarity and humanitarianism travel on the waters of the Mediterranean Sea through the centuries.
(The author is governor of the Region of Crete.)