ekathimerini - It took 10 months, a fat bundle of paperwork, countless certificates, long hours of haggling with bureaucrats and overcoming myriad other inconceivable obstacles for one group of young entrepreneurs to open an online store. As e-commerce continues to gain ground apace abroad, and even Greeks seem to be warming to the idea of Internet shopping, opening an online store based in Greece is no job for the fainthearted.
.....Antonopoulos and his partners spent hours collecting papers from tax offices, the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the municipal service where the company is based, the health inspector’s office, the fire department and banks. At the health department, they were told that all the shareholders of the company would have to provide chest X-rays, and, in the most surreal demand of all, stool samples. Hat tip Crusader Rabbit.
Back when the EU appointed the interim prime minister of Greece, many of us were worried that the democratic process was being pushed aside. After all there was no election, no voting, he was just 'appointed'. But then we didn't know how bad things really were in Greece. We knew they've been living off borrowed money and were essentially spending far more than they were earning. But it seems that's just scratching the surface.
I've had to deal with 3rd world bureaucracies in a previous life so I have an idea of what they're like. There are endless queues, lots of wretched forms asking all sorts of seemingly pointless and intrusive questions. There are many, many departments you have to trudge around to and it takes weeks and weeks if not months. And in many cases you had to grease the odd palm to get things moving again.
However bad as it may have been, they never ever asked for a stool sample for anything, let alone to open a store. No wonder the Germans as so angry.
It makes you wonder if the EU appointing a PM for the Greeks was such a bad idea, I mean they're freaking crazy asking for stool samples. If nothing else, it weakens their case for self-governance, especially when they owe others so much money.