Mati heroic fishermen visit European Parliament

The three fishermen who rescued several Greeks last summer during the deadly Mati fire in Attica were invited to visit the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday by SYRIZA Eurodeputy Konstantina Kouneva, on the sidelines of visits by Greek school students between April 7 and 9.

The three fishermen, Mahmoud Mesaffer from Egypt, Ervin Xeka from Albania and John Athinaios – chairman of the Nea Makri Fishing Association – told students how they rescued dozens of Mati residents who had fled to the sea to escape a wall of fire that descended on the coastal city.

The Egyptian and Albanian fishermen have been awarded honorary citizenships for their bravery and rescue efforts.

“In such circumstances you do not care if the other person is black or red – if you have a sense of humanity and compassion, then you must definitely help,” said Xeka, reflecting on the dramatic rescues at Mati.