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China hails Greece as "gateway to Europe"

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China hails Greece as "gateway to Europe"
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China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang has begun a three-day visit to Greece to sign trade and investment deals.

Accompanied by his Greek counterpart Antonis Samaras, Li visited the country’s largest port of Piraeus to inaugurate a rail link that will transport goods to central Europe.

Chinese and Greek officials are signing 19 deals worth an estimated 4.5 billion euros.

Among the key agreements is one for boosting trade and investment cooperation, as well as a deals for Chinese bank loans to go towards various construction projects, such as shipyards and solar energy parks.

There were also deals aimed at boosting Greek exports of olive oil, wine and marble.

With Greece’s stricken economy still very much in the doldrums, analysts say its vital for the country to get closer to the economic powerhouses of the future.

Our correspondent in Athens Stamatis Giannisis said:
“In an attempt to put the country back on the track of growth, the Greek government is seeking economic alliances both inside and outside the European Union. In this arduous effort, China appears a promising partner, as it attempts to open more gateways to Europe’s markets.”