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Historical Athens Hotel Shuts Down Due to Debt

Penteliκon, the historical hotel in Kifisia, the upscale, northern Athens suburb, is shutting down due to debt after 88 years of operation.
On Monday, the hotel management informed all guests to find accommodations elsewhere, while staff were advised to seek employment elsewhere.
Pentelikon, one of the emblematic hotels in Greece, was built in 1927 at Kefalari Square and for the past 88 years has served the rich and famous, including several Greek politicians.
Financial problems started a few years ago when the economic crisis hit the country, culminating on February 2012 when 80 employees started work retention procedures.
Since 1984, the hotel belongs to the Haris Vardis family, a Greek-Australian family that also owns a restaurant chain. A few years ago, the company started having financial troubles. In 2013, Vardis was arrested for substantial debts to the Greek Social Security Fund (IKA).
According to President of Hospitality Workers Union Nikos Papageorgiou, Vardis owed a lot of money to many people, including hotel employees. He had fired employees who were forced to resort to work retention, while the new staff he had hired were never paid their wages.
In recent years, a Greek entrepreneur who was conducting businesses in Africa had offered Vardis to become partners in Pentelikon but the deal never materialized.

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