Speaking European – Antti Pekkarinen

Antti Pekkarinen your host at Kukko Events

From  an early age, Antti Pekkarinen visited the Costa del Sol from his home in Finland as his parents owned a property here and he really enjoyed the atmosphere plus the golf.

The lure of Spain

It was in 2005 that he finally decided that the lure of what is known as Finland’s southern-most town (Fuengirola) was just too much to ignore and he moved over and settled here.

Antti knew there was a market for Scandinavians living and visiting the Costa del Sol but he wasn’t sure what it was and he is pleased to say “my first venture, creating Finnish TV for those living here wasn’t a success but it allowed me to move on to bigger and better things.”

His next venture was a weekly Finnish language publication Fuengirola.fi which was a great success and is still going strong all these years later.

Antti and his wife love the Spanish lifestyle and the fact that unlike his homeland things move at their own pace, so that if something isn’t done today, it will happen but there might be a bit of a delay and” let’s not get stressed.”

Let’s not get stressed

“One of the reasons that I moved here was for that lifestyle which is helped so much by the climate and although I make a point of returning to Finland for a month to enjoy the very short summer, that’s long enough and I don’t really miss anything except my family.”

Having said that, Antti has found that his idea of being able to play golf whenever he wanted hasn’t translated to reality because he works hard and apart from the newspaper also runs a very popular restaurant Kukko Events at Avda de Los Boliches 4,Fuengirola which is open for breakfast and lunch Monday to Friday and then in the evening with entertainment seven nights a week.

Quite often the musical turns are Finnish but every Sunday night from 7pm it’s the turn of the Andalusian Swingband made up of a number of Spanish and Finnish musicians who play their own brand of Jazz.

Being a sensible business person, Antti recognised that the one potential drawback to setting up a business in Spain for a foreigner is not knowing what to expect from the bureaucracy (every country has it but each is different).

Use a professional

“I decided that even if it might cost a little more in the short term I should appoint local professionals to handle that side of the business for me and although we had a few surprises, it was certainly better than trying to tackle it by myself.”

Most of his business correspondence is in Finnish and most of his friends are Scandinavian or English speakers so he admits that his Spanish isn’t as good as it could be but he can get by quite successfully.

Come over and enjoy it

When asked whether he had any advice for fellow countrymen thinking of moving to Spain, he said “it is different for everyone depending on age, whether they have families, want to set up a business or are retiring but my one recommendation is simply come over and enjoy it!”

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing newsdesk@euroweeklynews.com, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EuroWeeklyNews


    • CCW60

      21 March 2024 • 15:40

      Funny to read this after reading a previous article entitled “Why is Finland the world’s happiest nation”…guess Finland isn’t so great after all. To be fair the previous article read more like a propaganda piece for government.

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