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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I would pass on this quote.

We're in the process of setting up an additional company in Greece. We will be in partnership with a client of many years who is a senior member of Price Waterhouse in Eastern Europe.

After the latest batch of forms had been couriered backwards and forwards between us for signing, witnessing at Greek Consuls, we had a demand for yet more paperwork from our lawyer plus his very hefty bill.

I forwarded these and received the following short email which I think sums it up very succinctly as only an accountant could:

You can certainly see why the country is in such a mess, all form and no commercial substance! What the rest of Europe can do on a fax requires an army of (expensive) jobsworths.
 

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I thought I would pass on this quote.

We're in the process of setting up an additional company in Greece. We will be in partnership with a client of many years who is a senior member of Price Waterhouse in Eastern Europe.

After the latest batch of forms had been couriered backwards and forwards between us for signing, witnessing at Greek Consuls, we had a demand for yet more paperwork from our lawyer plus his very hefty bill.

I forwarded these and received the following short email which I think sums it up very succinctly as only an accountant could:

lol With the name Cairokid I would have thought you are well used to that. Best of luck
maiden
 

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Yes, that can be frustrating. Having lived in the US I was use to doing alot by phone, fax or internet, whereas here it seems if you want something done it has to be face to face, and even then it's not always easy. I'm told Greece has population of 10million and 900,000 govt/public workers in comparison to Germany who has over 300 million population and only 300,000 workers. Hmmm what's wrong with this picture?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm told Greece has population of 10million and 900,000 govt/public workers in comparison to Germany who has over 300 million population and only 300,000 workers. Hmmm what's wrong with this picture?
Really? Is that true? That is amazing.

I certainly reckon we spend one man(or woman) day a week dealing with bureaucracy and we are only a small company.
 

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That is a little over exaggerated but things are done differently in Greece, they always have been and for the foreseeable future they will continue as they do! If you were opening a business then surely your market research would have put you in the loop about how business is done in Greece, if not, then maybe your researcher did not do a proper job. I have lived here since 1981 things ahve changed, not necessarily for the better; in fact, I would dearly love to have the old style Greece back together with the Drachma and residence permits and having to hand in my permit at the airport and getting fined for overstaying etc etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you were opening a business then surely your market research would have put you in the loop about how business is done in Greece, if not, then maybe your researcher did not do a proper job..
I think that is over simplifying the issue. There is such a huge cultural difference between running a business here to doing it in the UK that I don't think anyone can really appreciate it fully before they do it, no matter how good their research.

We were already living here when we started our business and had a Greek partner for several years. I think we had a realistic view of the constraints but nothing actually prepares you properly for the frustrations! I doubt if any foreigners running businesses here really understood the impact that the bureaucracy and inefficiency would have until they were completely immersed in it. What do others think?

A major problem is that what we are doing was completely new to Greece. We don't fit into any existing category and Greek bureaucracy is not structured to deal with innovation. Our lawyer and accountant still have not found solutions to some of the issues after 10 years so I don't think they could have been predicted by anyone really.

Besides which, market research, unless you spend a fortune, tends to concentrate more on the viability of a proposed business than the stress and inconvenience aspects.

That's where forums like this can play a useful role as well as be an area to let off steam :)
 
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