Rep. Maloney: “We Must Now Help Greece in Its Time of Need”

Sep 5, 2007
Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) spoke on the House floor in support of House Resolution 629, which pledges America’s full support and solidarity to the Greek people as they fight and recover from the wildfires that have plagued Greece for weeks.  The resolution passed the House unanimously this afternoon.

The full text of Congresswoman Maloney’s remarks and a copy of the House resolution follow.

“Madam Speaker, as a co-chair and co-founder of the Hellenic Caucus, I rise today in strong support of H.Res. 629, which extends the condolences and sympathy of the House of Representatives to the Government and the people of Greece for the loss of life and destruction caused by the devastating fires raging through Greece, and which pledges our full support and solidarity to Greece.

“This disaster has affected all parts of Greece.  Thousands of people are homeless, many of whom have lost all their possessions to the fire.  Hundreds of thousands of acres of land have been ravaged.  Most tragically, at least sixty-five people have lost their lives.  The effects of this catastrophe may be felt for years to come as Greece recovers and rebuilds.

“Our government has pledged $1.3 million to aid Greece during this difficult time.  Along with my colleagues in the Hellenic Caucus, we will be urging the State Department to remain in close contact with Greek authorities so that the United States can continue to assist in this effort.  Greece has been a strong ally to our nation, assisting us in our times of need including the terrorist attacks on September 11th and Hurricane Katrina.  We must now help Greece in its time of need.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Greece during this difficult time, and with all of the brave men and women who have devoted themselves to the firefighting effort.

“I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.

“Thank you.”
 
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110th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. RES. 629
Extending the condolences and sympathy of the House of Representatives to the Government and the people of Greece for the grave loss of life and vast destruction caused by the devastating fires raging through Greece since June 2007.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
September 4, 2007
Mr. SARBANES (for himself, Mr. LANTOS, Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN, Mrs. MALONEY of New York, Mr. BILIRAKIS, Mr. SPACE, Ms. BERKLEY, Mr. PAYNE, Mr. LINCOLN DIAZ-BALART of Florida, Mr. KENNEDY, Mr. PALLONE, Mr. SHAYS, Ms. WATSON, Mr. CROWLEY, and Mr. WEXLER) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

RESOLUTION

Extending the condolences and sympathy of the House of Representatives to the Government and the people of Greece for the grave loss of life and vast destruction caused by the devastating fires raging through Greece since June 2007.


Whereas more than 3,000 forest fires have been recorded in Greece since June 2007;


Whereas over a 10-day period, an estimated 4,000 people saw their homes destroyed by the wildfires, which razed dozens of villages, destroyed livestock and charred an estimated 469,000 acres of mostly forest and farmland;


Whereas dozens of Greek families have lost their loved ones to the fires;


Whereas thousands of Greeks have been left homeless and hundreds of thousands of acres of pristine forest have been destroyed;


Whereas hundreds of thousands of mature olive trees, vineyards and thousands of animals perished in the flames;


Whereas damage to the Greek economy is estimated at between $1,600,000,000 and $5,400,000,000;


Whereas the United States and Greece have stood side by side in confronting world challenges throughout the 20th century, and will stand together in confronting this new challenge; and


Whereas the United States, through its government, its people and its Greek-American community, has already extended significant support to the people of Greece during this difficult time: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
(1) extends its condolences and sympathy to the Government and the people of Greece for the grave loss of life and vast destruction caused by the devastating fires raging through Greece;
(2) vows its full support and solidarity to a close friend, a strategic partner, and a longstanding ally in this painful and difficult hour;
(3) fully supports the Administration's initiatives to provide assistance and relief to the people of Greece, including its pledge of $1,500,000 in aid as well as expert and technical assistance;
(4) encourages public institutions, specialized agencies, as well as private citizens, to offer their resources; and
(5) expresses confidence that Greece and its people will succeed in overcoming the hardships incurred through this tragedy.