by Maria Spiliopoulou
ATHENS, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Greek prominent entrepreneur Kyriakos Mamidakis was found dead in his house at the Athens northern suburb of Dionyssos on Sunday, the police said. The preliminary investigation by the authorities showed suicide was suspected.
The prominent entrepreneur aged 84 was found dead by one of his aides and his son-in-law with his handgun by his side, according to investigators.
Mamidakis was the co-founder and owner of Greek petrol company Mamidoil Jetoil.
On June 9, Mamidoil Jetoil had filed for bankruptcy and was granted temporary protection from its creditors.
The company he had established in 1968 with his two brothers, George and Nick, was facing great financial difficulties in recent years, and has amassed more than 300 million euros (334 million U.S. dollars) in debts to banks, suppliers, the state and employees, according to estimates.
Mamidoil Jetoil had expanded across the Balkans and was one of the largest petrol companies in the Greek market in terms of sales volume and turnover. In 2010, it controlled more than 600 gas stations.
When it filed for bankruptcy last month, the company was left with about 50 gas stations and 200 employees.
The late CEO and other company top manages had attributed the streamlining of its operations to the debt crisis which has hit hard Greece since 2010.
The prolonged deep recession affected economic activities, including the demand in fuel. Over the past six years, more than 2,500 gas stations have closed across Greece, according to market experts.
Combined with Greek banks' inability to finance businesses, the dramatic reduction of revenues gradually created cash flow problems.
The imposition of capital controls on June 29 last year was considered as a heavy blow to the company.
Greece traditionally had low suicide rates. Since the start of the austerity it has seen an increase in the number of people committing suicide. The rates have spiked by some 35 percent in the first two years of the crisis, according to official statistics. Enditem