Greek businessmen assist in recovery of war-torn Iraqi city of Mosul

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Greek businessmen assist in recovery of war-torn Iraqi city of MosulAfter nine months of siege, bombardment and fighting to take back Mosul street by street, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi officially declared victory

In June, 2014, the instructions were clear: Stay away from Mosul, kathimerini.gr notes in the following article and adds:

The city, Iraq’s second largest, had just been captured by the so-called Islamic State, whose fighters faced virtually no resistance in doing so. “Whoever has business in Mosul or Kirkuk no longer has a reason to be there,” the only Greek official in the region told Greek residents of Iraqi Kurdistan, who mainly comprised entrepreneurs in the construction and building materials trade.

Three years later, after nine months of siege, bombardment and fighting to take back Mosul street by street, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi officially declared victory. Once the fighting stopped, however, the scale of the destruction was shocking. Homes, streets and entire neighborhoods were in complete ruin.

A Greek businessman, who spoke to Kathimerini on the phone and asked that his name not be published for security reasons, was managing a quarry and a concrete production company in northern Iraq. He saw some of the freshly bombed-out areas of Mosul soon after they had been taken back from the jihadists. Despite the flight of many Greeks from the region in recent years, he decided to stay and is looking to the future while keeping a close eye on developments.

He transferred his operations to Iraqi Kurdistan four years ago, when the investment climate there was favorable. “Back then, seven out of 10 vehicles you would see on the road were concrete mixers and machinery,” he said. He brought seven Greeks with him to work as executives and hired locals as laborers. “We haven’t begun any construction projects in Mosul yet,” he said. The fight against ISIS has changed economic priorities in the region. Before the war, more than 100 Greek entrepreneurs were in Iraqi Kurdistan. That number has since shrunk to 30. They live and work in a radius of more than 80 kilometers from Mosul. Beyond entrepreneurs, these also include Greek women who have married Iraqis.

Read full story here.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons Copyright: Staff Sgt. Jason Robertson License: CC-BY-SA

Source: ekathimerini.com

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