Chilean miners rescued after two month ordeal last year visit Greece

13:24, June 02, 2011      

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The 33 Chilean miners who were rescued after an over two-month ordeal which captivated international attention last year, enjoyed Greek hospitality in Athens on Wednesday.

The miners who were trapped in a Chilean mine 600 meters beneath the surface last August and were rescued after 68 days, are visiting Greece, accompanied by members of their families, at the invitation of Hellenic Mining Enterprises (ELMIN) President Yiannis Vardinoyannis.

After touring the Greek Presidential Mansion on Wednesday, they visited the New Acropolis Museum where Greek Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos welcomed them to Greece.

"When we saw you exiting the mine with a smile on your faces, we all understood the meaning of keeping faith alive. You showed us that every difficulty can be addressed if we have faith, solidarity and confidence," said Geroulanos, in a reference to the difficult period Greece faces at the time and efforts to overcome an acute debt crisis.

The miners and Chile's ambassador to Greece Carmen Patricia Ibanez Soto expressed gratitude to Greece for the warm welcome.

Later on Wednesday the 70-member group will travel to the southern Aegean Sea island of Crete, where they will be accommodated for the next five days.

All expenses of the trip to Greece are covered by ELMIN which had sent a message of solidarity with an attached invitation to visit Greece, while the miners were still trapped in the mine.

Source: Xinhua
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