Madeleina Kay

Chris Lovett (Greece)

Chris Lovett left the UK on 29th June 2020 with his wife.

Interview:

1) How did you feel on 24th June when you heard about the UK’s vote to leave the EU?

On June the 24th I couldn’t believe the stupidity of the British voters. Gutted doesn’t begin to cover it.

2) What were the key driving factors that made you decide to leave the UK?

In truth I had wanted to move to Greece before the referendum – but from then on leaving the UK became an imperative. I/we couldn’t stay in a xenophobic nationalistic country.

3)  How/why did you choose your current country of residence?

Greece became our choice over years of visits. It’s beautiful, mostly the people are wonderfully friendly – and then there’s “Filotimo”. Google it? But it was a close run thing, France being the next favourite. It has to be said that my French is very much better than my Greek, sadly.

4) Do you have citizenship for your current country? Do you still have EU citizenship? If no, are you hoping to obtain it?

We don’t have citizenship but will apply for residency. As a pensioner the Withdrawal Agreement gives me free Greek Healthcare.

5) Do you plan to return to the UK or hope to move to another country in the future?

We will return to the UK solely to see our children – when they are there – and for medical appointments like pre-arranged surgery on my hands cancelled by COVID.

6) What was the most difficult aspect/greatest you challenge you faced in moving?

When the move happened it went like clockwork – but the preparation was a struggle. Selling our 16th century house, getting rid of clutter, planning our house in Greece in close association with our builder and engineers.

7) What do you miss most about the UK?

Curry. But hey, I can cook lots of Greek food, so I’ll learn to cook Indian and Thai!

8) What do you love most about your current country of residence?

Greece is a republic with a sensible voting system and it’s an EU member country. Oh, and it’s stunningly beautiful.

9) Do you consider yourself to have a “European identity” and what that does that mean to you?

I have for many years felt more European than British. Sitting, walking, eating, talking anywhere in the EU fills me with pride for our collective status and shared identity.

10) Do you still consider yourself to have a “British identity” and how do you feel about it?

No. I actively disassociate myself from “Britishness”.

Additional questions relating to Covid19:

11) How has the Covid19 pandemic affected your life?

We self isolated in the UK for 13 weeks before our move to Greece, thanks to amazing charitable new friends. My hand surgery for “depuytrans” (google it) has been deferred.

12) How do you feel about your country’s response to the Covid19 pandemic compared to the UK government & media?

Greece “locked down” very early on, whilst the UK’s response to the virus has been late and inadequate. As for the press, without their malign influence I wouldn’t have been filling in this form!

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