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Greek nuns flee business fiasco

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  • Al Green
    Greek nuns flee business fiasco By Malcolm Brabant BBC News, Athens http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6311443.stm An entire order of nuns has fled a convent on
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 4, 2007
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      Greek nuns flee business fiasco
      By Malcolm Brabant
      BBC News, Athens

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6311443.stm

      An entire order of nuns has fled a convent on the Greek-Bulgarian border after running up huge
      debts.
      The nuns' knitting business, serving 25 shops across Greece, has crashed.

      From mother superior to the most junior novice, the 55 nuns sought sanctuary in the Xenia convent
      in the hills of central Greece.

      The Greek Holy Synod is trying to sort out their debts of some 760,000 euros (£500,000) and
      persuade them to come out of hiding.

      As I walked past the small domed chapel towards the cloisters, bolts slammed across heavy wooden
      doors, keys clicked double locks into place and curtains twitched in the nuns' cells (bedrooms).

      Their sentinel was a stooped, beetle-browed, elderly nun clutching a copy of the New Testament.

      I asked her to confirm that this was indeed the hideout of the runaway order.

      "So what?" she snapped back in Greek, "who wants to know?"

      Then her tone softened. "If God wills it," she said, "someone will come and talk to you," and she
      despatched a novice to find out.

      She quickly returned with the news that the mother superior was exercising her right to remain
      silent.

      So I left as empty-handed as the nuns' creditors. According to the Kathimerini newspaper, they
      exacerbated their financial problems by going abroad to fashion shows to check out the latest
      designs in woollen garments.

      Their assets may have to be liquidated and property belonging to their convent at Sidirokastro
      could be sold to pay off their debts.





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