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Please can you explain? Recently when I have been emailing hotels in Greece to book or ask a question - in their reply the manager or reception who deal with my query always end the email with their surname before their Christian name eg Παντούλια Κριστίνα Reception Manager.!

Is this used in a formal situation in letters and emails?

Ευχαριστώ πάλι

Ιάκοβος
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Γεια σου Ιάκοβε

In Greek it is very common to put the surname before the "first" name, especially in a formal context. This happens because the surname is less common and more distinctive than the first name.

Example:

Αλούπη Μαρία

Αλούπη is a surname. Only a few people have it.

Μαρία is an extremely common name in Greek! Half of the Greek women are called "Μαρία". It is not distinctive at all.

However, you can put the first name and then the last name in a formal setting without any problem.  It is correct as well.
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