Why Greece failed (example 1)

If you live abroad and come to Greece for vacations,this country rocks!!! It really does. But for us locals, everyday life in Greece is an exercise in surrealism and the fine, time-honored art of surviving on a daily bases without:
a. Getting a stroke.
b. Strangling a public servant.
c. Being locked in a lunatic asylum
d. All the above together

A recent example of why we failed as a State is the infamous extra-tax -on-your-house thingy. The extra tax comes with the electricity bill-which means if you don't pay the whole sum, the power company cuts the power. So far, it is just unfair...the surreal comes next...nah nahnana nahnanana...you are now entering the Twilight Zone...

After waiting in vain for three months for the tax bill to arrive,I got worried. I asked some of the other tenants in our apartment building and I found out that out of  9 apartment owners ,only 4 had received the tax bill. 
Further investigations revealed that the Municipality of our area has no data base of  all the buildings it should tax. Why? Because the power company-which has the data and issues the bills-doesn't want to share them with the Municipality. But it is the Municipality which has to inform the power company to whom it should send the bills. So if your house or shop is not in the Municipality's data bank=no extra tax bill....wait!!!
It gets even scarier!!!
I also found out that the Municipality should have been collecting another property tax since 1997,which it hasn't collected from about 30% of apartments and shops ,because the said shops and apartments do not "exist" in their data bank!!! AND NOBODY IN CHARGE EVER CHECKED!!!
The Municipality/State has been loosing millions of euros every year since 1997.Multiply this by all municipalities in Greece and send me the biiiiiillll and a box of antidepressants!!
A huge box!

The new Johnnie Walker ad  is quite good for the morale!
Keep walking Greece :)

To the inevitable question: Are they-the people in the management of the State- stupid/lazy/incompetent? the sad answer is "No".
It is by design that this State is functioning by isolating one public service from the other. It is by design that this unbeatable Hydra bureaucracy is strangling anything new (like it has been fighting for years against fully computerising the whole public sector)!
(The "why" is a long story, requiring some knowledge of Greek history and a M.D in psychiatry...sigh*

P.S .Now,as good and loyal citizens, we have to:
1.Pay the "normal" property tax for the last 5 years.
2. Pay the "normal" property tax for 2012
3.Wait for the extra 2011 property tax with the next electricity bill
4.Wait for the extra 2012 property tax with the next electricity bill.
 But what the hell?!
For a lesson in surrealistic survival it was priceless!!!

1 comment:

  1. This is so crazy, Desi. I have been following the situation to some degree because I know you, and it's just AMAZING to me what a cluster fuck the Greek government is. It really seems like they need to blow the thing up and start over from scratch. Of course I figure that not possible, but the way it is now clearly doesn't work. Hopefully things will improve...I don't know...it's clearly a complete disaster right now.

    I just did some reading and was amazed to find that Greece is considering removing itself from the Euro and creating a new currency?! And more than 50% of people 25 and younger are out of work, a number that will be going up when 100,000 jobs get cut soon...wow. WOW. WOW!!!

    *dig hole* *stick head in hole*