April 20, 2014

Is Greece European?

Greeks rioting at Syntagma Square

I lived in Greece a while back and have returned five or six times since. The problems that caused Greece's economic collapse were evident even back in the mid-1990s and like all Greeks, I learned how to play the system in order to survive. We really had no other option. Getting around the rules was necessary if you didn't want to throw all your money and time away. For example, when I first arrived I was told to go to this office and the next to pay what amounted to tribute. If you paid, you got a stamp. People warned me about this so I asked a friend who was a notary public to stamp and sign every page of every document I needed before I left. It was nonsense and I knew it but I wanted to be prepared. The first few days I was reluctant not to play by the rules because I did not know what the rules were. But I found out soon enough. I went to one office and paid around $25, got the stamp and then was told to go to the next office. The trouble was that the next office was in … [Read more...]