Foreign Assistance in Greece
Updates to Greek Laws in 2008
Here are a few of some laws passed, ready to be passed or in the books to be passed around 2032.They are all incredible to say the least and aptly reflects what Greek bureaucracy was and still continues to be. It's only a small wonder how the Greek incumbent govt. pledged to do away with, or at least curtail, bureaucracy only succeeded in making it worse. These are some examples.
In my original article on the war between the EU and the Greek ministry of education you saw that article 16 of the Greek constitution forbids the establishment of foreign colleges and universities in Greece to be recognized by the Greek state. They are not allowed to issue degrees and if they do they are worthless for Greece. I can't count the times Greece was dragged to the EU court over this and every time lost the case and was fined....to the tax payers expense of course. Well now the EU got nasty and cracked down hard on Greece to recognize branches of EU universities and the degrees offered as equivalent to the ones offered in Europe.
With EU pressure on the right, and teachers, students on the left who won't hear of such things, the govt. had to compromise. This is what this govt. is so good at.....compromising. Now here is the deal; careful you may just laugh or stare at the wall in disbelief.
All branches of EU institutes of higher learning will be recognized. How wonderful. Now we got the EU off our backs.....but. There is a clause which made the magnifying glass companies a lot of money almost overnight. In fine print it states: we recognize the institution and its right to exist, but we won't recognize the degree. They can function legally but are not allowed to issue degrees.
This will buy Greece some time before the EU catches on to the scam. By then the govt. will have changed hands a dozen or so times and the "leave it to the next govt. to handle it" still prevails.
You want to teach at a small private school here called frontistiria, think again. Apart from getting your degree recognized by the ministry of education and religion (it's one ministry for both. No separation of church and state) which is not easy, you now have to know Greek. At least a bit like how do you say buullshit, scam, idiots in Greek. That's half way there. You even have to have some knowledge of Greek history. For what?? You are a qualified English teacher with your BA or MA or more and all you want to do is teach English. No! You must know something about Alexander the Great and how Macedonia is Greek not FYROM (former republic of Macedonia). If you can prove that Aristotle, were he alive today, would vote for the New Democracy party, you've got a good chance of getting the license to teach.
Don't believe what you read either through the internet or various books or pamphlets going around. It's not the truth. What is the truth is when you finally get to the ministry of transportation and get literally blown away with the idiocy confronting you. I assume you've read my article on the transfer of your driving license to a Greek GR one and what it takes, well things have changed and yes for the worse! No one will tell you you need an AFM (Greek tax no.) you won't find it anywhere, but that's the least of the problems.
So now you have officially translated your license; you have officially translated the validity of the license ...both at the foreign ministry here...and you have gone through the two doctors mentioned in my article; you are now ready for the GR license. Think again.
Now, that paper from your registry stating it's valid, no accidents etc. has to be sent back to the Greek consulate of your country for approval and they in turn fax it directly to the ministry of transportation here! So off you go even though you had it stamped and apostilled and was accepted and translated by the foreign ministry here, it's still no good. So here you are with a folder containing all the documents, doctors, passport etc., waiting when the consulate in your state will get the verification, when they will fax it, when it arrives and when you can go to the ministry of transportation to settle everything. No one knows when or how long it will take. Don't underestimate the Greeks in what new type of bureaucracy they can dream up. They are masters at it. You could have the president of the United States signing the paper (except Bush) and it means nothing compared to an illiterate idiot from the Greek consulate stamping some paper which he/she doesn't even look at....primarily because he/she can't read.
POTHEN ESCHES … or, where did you get the money from
This law was done away with 10 years or so but the govt. is bringing it back. In short it means you can’t declare 20.000 in your income tax and have 2 Mercedes, 1 yacht, and a Harley Davidson just for fun.
I can see the point in this as Greeks are notorious tax evaders; however the problem is elsewhere. They haven’t decided where to draw the line. I mean, this will apply for everyone which leads to the awful truth: if someone is really only making 10.000 a year, they will ask him “where did you get the money for that bicycle?” Or something like what will happen to me:
--Auditor: Mr. Kokas we see that you have a Yamaha Serow. That’s a good bike, how do you upkeep it?
--Me: It needs no upkeep, that’s why I bought it. It asks nothing just oil every 6 months.
--Auditor: No gas?? You see you are lying. That means a penalty. Maria, make out the papers that Mr. Kokas has lied in his tax returns. Do you have any receipts for the oil?
--Me: Well…no, I…isn’t this going a bit far?
--Auditor: Far? Far? Do you realize this govt. is broke and we have to get money anyway we can? Far? How do you think we pay for the pavement of the roads you drive on? The sidewalks..etc?
--Me: Roads? They are the worst in Europe. Nothing but pot holes, destroys your car and creates accidents. Sidewalks? Why do you think orthopedics make so much money? Why do you think Athenians look down when they walk? It’s to avoid breaking an ankle.
--Auditor: Blasphemy! You are criticizing the govt. You’re a communist or a over the hill hippy…same for us. You insult the govt.? Greece? Maria, send me forms zzpp/237/20 for direct insult against the govt.
--Me: This is absurd! You can’t, you….
--Auditor: Off the record, is it really maintenance free?
--Me: Yes and gets great mileage to the gallon (liter)
--Auditor: Is that so? Do you think you can help me find one, I know they are rare nowadays.
--Me: Yes I think I can.
--Auditor: Maria, disregard those papers I asked you to get.
That in short is how Greece works. Who cares about laws. I help you, you help me, under the table, etc. This goes way back to the way things were done during the 400 years of Turkish occupation. This is how it’s done in Turkey and most if not all eastern countries.
The question remains: How the hell did Greece get into the EU. Are Greeks Europeans like Denmark, Brussels, Germany? The answer is emphatically …NO!!