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Greek citizenship for Fishermen who saved dozens of lives from Athens wildfires

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has announced to facilitate Greek citizenship for three foreign laborers who work as fishermen and who saved the lives of dozens of people from the sea on the horrible night during the Athens wildfires on 23. July 2018.

“We consider these people already our fellow citizens,” Tsipras said during a visit to Mati earlier today, the area where most people lost their lives in the unprecedented tragedy. The Prime minister met with locla residents who struggle to bring their lives back to normality. Invited were also Greek and migrant fishermen who rescued dozens of people on that night.

All legal procedures give Greek citizenship to foreigners for excellent contribution to society will be followed, he said. he added that he has also instructed the Ministry of Interior accordingly.

The request for the Greek citizenship to their colleagues of foreign nationality was tabled by the Greek fishermen.

The three have been living in Greece for more than 22 years.

“Risking their lives they threw themselves into the battle to save lives,” Tsipras said.

He did not revealed the nationality of the foreign fishermen.

However, a lot of reports in the aftermath of the Athens wildfires spoke of fishermen from Egypt who jumped into fishing boats and sailed to the sea area off Mati and saved people who had sought “shelter” form the fires in the water.

One of them was 46-year-old Mahmoud al-Sayed Mousa who has been living and working in Greece for the last 30 years. He described to Al Jazeera how his Greek boss called him in the early evening of 23. Julyand how he reached on his bicycle the port in Nea Makri, where they dock their fishing vessel. They set sail.

“We heard that 150 people were trapped between the fire and the sea,” Moussa said.

the sailed out to the sea through thick black smog and they reached close to the shores of Mati.

“He heard the muffled cries of women and children. He covered his mouth and nose with a cloth to try and limit the fumes he was inhaling. They steered the boat into the dark, unsure of what to expect.

“We either bring them back with us or we die with them, God willing,” Mousa told his boss Kostas.

They grabbed people form the sea, one after the other, for hours.

“We scooped them up like when we’re fishing,” Mousa remembers. “People were crying and shaking while they hugged us.”

By the time it was over, they had saved 23 Greeks and four dogs, Moussa estimated.

Mousa and Kostas brought the survivors back to dry land in Nea Marki.

Several other Egyptian fishermen answered the coast guard’s call for assistance.

According to latets media information, two of the fishermen to be Greek citizens are of Egyptian nationality and one of Albanian nationality.

Thousands of Egyptian migrants have been working as fishermen or in other sectors of the fish industry across Greece.

many of them have been victim of brutal attacks by the extremists of golden dawn.

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