Sunday 25 September 2016

'I won't turn my back on Greece'

Published 30/06/2015 | 02:30

Ken Hickey, from Templeogue, outside his bar 'The Dubliner' which he is due to open in Thessaloniki, Greece
Ken Hickey, from Templeogue, outside his bar 'The Dubliner' which he is due to open in Thessaloniki, Greece

Dublin man Ken Hickey has been living in Greece for the last three years and is planning to open an Irish bar there in just 10 days' time.

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But the Templeogue native fears his dream is in tatters as he watches the Greek economy descend into chaos.

"I moved here in 2007 for a couple of years and then I left, then I returned in 2012. It wasn't work that brought me back, it was the way of life, the whole lifestyle," the 44-year-old said.

"I have just invested in a business. I am opening an Irish bar and restaurant, 'The Dubliner', in the north of Greece, Thessaloniki, the second largest city over here."

However, Ken, who used to work in finance and insurance, said he felt there was no point in panicking.

But the precarious state of the country's economy means he is now finding it difficult to set up his new business. Suppliers are demanding cash on delivery, which is "impossible", he said.

"That might delay us opening up totally. And we are ready with 10-15 employees to start work and to start generating money for the economy and we can't," he added. Coming home isn't an option and his commitment to his new home remains.

"I can't turn my back and walk away from it. I don't want to leave Greece, I still love the country. But we have to wait and see how it pans out."

Irish Independent

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