Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Greek nuns flee business fiasco

According to BBC:

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.

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.

According to Ananonva:

Nuns on the run
Fifty-five nuns - all called Maria - are on the run after racking up debts of £400,000.

The women had secretly run a knitwear company on the side for ten years.

Their convent supplied 25 shops and they blew money travelling to fashion shows across Europe.

The nuns of St Kyrikos and Ioulite in Northern Greece hit money problems after spending huge sums on new machinery.

Their expensive knitting machines were put on a lorry and the sisters disappeared a few days later.

Greek Orthodox Church officials believe they may be hiding at a monastery in Volos, Central Greece.

The nuns' lawyer Dionysios Pelekis said they had asked church superiors to settle the debt by selling 16 convent-owned properties. But the request was refused.