Greek Business

For discussion, news, comments, questions and information about Crete & Greece.
Kilkis
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Greek Business

Postby Kilkis » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:08 am

While Greece is a wonderful place to live and I would hate to leave it, anyone contemplating moving to Greece in order to set up a business would do well to read this ekathimerini article.

Warwick

Eleni13
Posts: 468
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:13 am
Location: UK

Re: Greek Business

Postby Eleni13 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:10 am

Depressing reading, even for those of us who are well acquainted with the system. What will it take for Greek governments to admit these entrenched systematic failures, and address them?
Answers on a (very large) postcard.

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: Greek Business

Postby Kilkis » Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:27 pm

Recently I had a minor experience of how the bureaucracy functions. In February I bought some new spectacles. Under EOPYY, previously IKA, I am allowed to claim €100 of the cost back. The person in the shop who sold them to me filled out all the paperwork so all I had to do was take it to the EOPYY building on the Souda road, which I did on 22 February. The man in Section B said that he couldn't accept the forms because my bank account details were not showing on his computer system. I had my bank book with me so asked if he could enter it on the system. No, I had to register it at Section A.

I went to Section A, took a ticket and waited a couple of hours in the queue. When my turn eventually came the lady dealt with it in a matter of seconds and assured me that my bank account was now registered on the system. I returned to Section B but the man said that it still wasn't showing on his system and would probably take a few hours. Not being prepared to wait any longer I went home and returned the next day. Sure enough the next day everything was OK, he accepted the forms printed out another multi-part form and gave me one of the copies as a receipt to prove I had submitted a claim. That form has a protocol number in case I need to chase it.

Last Thursday I received a phone call from a different section of EOPYY in an office on Bouniali Street, near the Piraeus bank on Tzanakaki Street. They needed my bank details. I explained that they already had them but they said they didn't. Today I went into the office on Bouniali Street and discovered that they don't seem to be using a computer system at all. The lady there pulled out a ring binder full of paperwork including the form with the protocol number that they had given me at the Souda Road office, now covered in official looking stamps. As far as I can tell it is the paperwork that is passed round within the EOPYY system, gathering approvals along the way, and the computer system is not used at all. When I left the office I looked more closely at the form and discovered that at the bottom is a section headed "ΣΤΟΙΧΕΙΑ ΔΙΚΑΙΟΥΧΟΥ" which translates as BENEFICIARY DETAILS. Underneath it has lines headed "IBAN", "ΕΠΩΝΥΜΟ" and "ΟΝΟΜΑ" all of which were blank. Clearly, for some reason, although the computer system at Souda Road has these details it doesn't include them on the form and so the offices where the form is ultimately processed does not have them.

While this is a trivial example compared to what businesses face it does illustrate how dysfunctional the Greek bureaucracy is and also, to an extent, why. I suppose there is a slim possibility that one day they will be dragged kicking and screaming out of the Byzantine era and into the era of the Ottoman Empire. I see no possibility at all of them reaching the 21st century in my lifetime or that of my grandson.

Warwick

filippos
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Re: Greek Business

Postby filippos » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:00 pm

Warwick, I don't want to raise concerns but I submitted my glasses subsidy about 15 months ago. It was my second claim and I was assured that the period between my earlier claim and the new one was within the rules regarding the frequency of claims: i.e. there must be x years between claims. Last month I received a multi-page letter stating that my claim had been rejected because it was too soon after the previous one (a gap of 4½ years). There was a form to appeal the decision but in view of the prospect of months of dealing with red tape I didn't proceed. I've since been told, "they 'seem' to have extended the qualifying period".
Good luck, mate: for €100 I can't face months (years?) of bureaucratic wrangling with a 95+% prospect of losing.

TweetTweet
Posts: 243
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:35 am

Re: Greek Business

Postby TweetTweet » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:39 pm

Didn't the NHS in the UK relatively recently throw away something like 10 billion pounds on what turned out to be a USELESS SYSTEM?

How many thousands of euros (ironia) might it take to get an fully integrated Greek computer system up and running?

The whole of Greece continues to be under the control of the corrrupt and money laundering Troika.

Perhaps the current Grteek govedrnment should take any offers....e.g. here is an integrated computer system that will solve al lyour problems ...errr....but, when it is delivered. OH DEAR ME, we seemed to have got the wrong guage for your railway system (add in the SIEMENS scandal too)...never mind it can NEVER work ...we are GERMANY (et al) and thus you are truly further stuffed.

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: Greek Business

Postby Kilkis » Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:30 pm

I think the rule is one pair of glasses every 5 years, Filippos, so a 4½ year gap would be too short. I think that has been the qualifying period for quite a long time now so I think whoever told you it has been extended is mistaken. I could be wrong.

Despite having worn glasses for over 20 years, I have never bought glasses in Greece before so this is my first claim. Previously I have arranged my eye test to be close to a UK visit and bought from Specsavers. OK, I can't claim the EOPYY subsidy but I get three pairs of glasses for about half what one pair cost me in Greece so I don't really care. This year I needed to have my eyes tested for my driving licence renewal so I couldn't wait until my UK trip. I knew my prescription wasn't quite correct so I bought one pair here to put me on. My ophthalmologist also wanted me to do a fields test so I delayed that until I was due to return to the UK, got her to issue a new prescription and used that to get three more pairs while in the UK. I now have two pairs of reactolite bifocals, one pair of polaroid bifocals for use in the car, since the UV filtering of the windscreen prevents the reactolite from working and one pair of plain glasses with an intermediate prescription for computer use. The reactolite bifocals are my main glasses and I like to have two pairs so that I have a spare if one gets damaged.

Warwick

PS If anybody considers doing the same, get the ophthalmologist to put when the next eye test is due on the prescription otherwise a dispensing optician in the UK may refuse to issue glasses against it.

PPS I won't cry in my beer if I don't get the subsidy but I thought I would give it a try. The last time I went through the system was in 2010 when my late wife had a brain tumour removed in a private hospital. That time I got around €11,000 refunded so certainly worth the effort. That took about 1 year and involved masses of paperwork.

PPPS EOPYY already has a functioning computer system, TweetTweet. It is accessible remotely from any doctors with a computer connected to the internet and is used for issuing all prescriptions. It isn't perfect but it does function. Clearly the system is also used for making claims since all my details were entered in to the system at Souda Road office and it printed out the claim form. As far as I can see it is simply that it is not being used correctly, i.e. it didn't print out my bank details despite having them, and also other parts of EOPYY are not using it.

Clio
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Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:54 pm

Re: Greek Business

Postby Clio » Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:40 pm

I think the rule is one pair of glasses every 5 years, Filippos, so a 4½ year gap would be too short. I think that has been the qualifying period for quite a long time now so I think whoever told you it has been extended is mistaken. I could be wrong

It was four years when I claimed it successfully last winter - February, I think.

mouche
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:43 pm

Re: Greek Business

Postby mouche » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:28 am

Kilkis wrote: OK, I can't claim the EOPYY subsidy but I get three pairs of glasses for about half what one pair cost me in Greece so I don't really care.


And we are talking glasses with same quality thus an apple/apple comparison? Quite interesting as we find the prices in Greece (Crete/Kalyves) to be about half of what we have to pay in Norway! And we do get two pair for the price of one in the shop in Kalyves!

filippos
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Re: Greek Business

Postby filippos » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:42 am

Clio wrote:
I think the rule is one pair of glasses every 5 years, Filippos, so a 4½ year gap would be too short. I think that has been the qualifying period for quite a long time now so I think whoever told you it has been extended is mistaken. I could be wrong

It was four years when I claimed it successfully last winter - February, I think.

When I said 'extended' I meant the gap between allowable claims had been made longer. At the time I claimed (approx. 15 months ago) it was more than four years since my previous claim so I was told the claim was valid. By the time they got round to actually dealing with said claim the rule had changed, extending the gap between allowable claims to 5 years so mine was rejected. Had my claim been dealt with soon after I made it, rather than a year after submission (ironic laughter) i.e. before the rule change to a five years gap I'd have been OK.

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: Greek Business

Postby Kilkis » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:46 am

mouche wrote:...And we are talking glasses with same quality thus an apple/apple comparison?...


Actually yes. The quality of the glasses from the UK are of equal or higher quality than the one pair I have bought in Greece. That is not my opinion. It is the opinion of the Greek ophthalmic surgeon who performs my eye tests. She always checks the existing glasses as part of the test. The UK mainly sells glasses through large chains like Specsavers and Boots. That gives them enormous buying power compared to the large number of small independent opticians that typically exists in Greece. That in turn allows them to pass on cost savings to the customer. While I am all in favour of small independent retailers in general, when it comes to a choice between paying €425 for a single pair or €400 for three pairs then I can't really afford to pass up the saving.

Warwick

mouche
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:43 pm

Re: Greek Business

Postby mouche » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:51 am

Interesting; As we pay double of the prices in Greece and in the UK you pay a third f what you pay in Greece we could actually go to the UK and pay 1/6 of the price in Norway or six pair for the price of one - sceptical! By the way; We do have Specsaver in Norway, 75 stores actually.

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: Greek Business

Postby Kilkis » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:20 am

The "half" is a slight exaggeration. While in previous years I have not bought in Greece I did get a quotation in Greece before deciding to buy in the UK. On those occasions the price in Sterling for the three pairs of UK glasses was half the price in Euro for a single pair in Greece so a bit more than half depending on the exchange rate at the time.

Clearly the figures quoted above for my current glasses is nowhere near half but that is because the specification was not the same. The glasses I bought in Greece were steel framed while two of the pairs I bought in the UK have Titanium frames, which are more expensive. Previously the pair I bought for use in the car had tinted lenses while this time I opted for polaroid, which is also an additional cost. Also previously I chose the cheapest frames I could find for the intermediate pair that I bought for computer use but this time I opted for a more expensive frame. Despite the higher specification the price for three pairs in the UK converted to Euro at the current exchange rate is still less than the cost of the single Greek pair.

You can't interpret my figures to conclude that you could get a single pair in the UK for one sixth the price of an equivalent pair in Norway or six pairs for the same price. It is clear that the three pairs are not all the same specification and specification has a marked effect on price. A better description would be to say that I bought a higher specification pair in the UK for slightly less than I paid in Greece and also got two additional pairs free of charge.

Warwick

mouche
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:43 pm

Re: Greek Business

Postby mouche » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:53 pm

Kilkis wrote:It is clear that the three pairs are not all the same specification and specification has a marked effect on price.
Warwick


So we no longer have an apple/apple comparison but apple versus cucumber or potatoe? Thanks for letting me know that specification has an effect on price, would never have thought so myself.

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: Greek Business

Postby Kilkis » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:55 am

You obviously have difficulty understanding English, Mouche. Adopting the normal English attitude when faced with a foreigner who doesn't understand I will try the technique of, "If you say it often enough and loud enough they will eventually understand you":

    TWO OF THE UK GLASSES ARE HIGHER SPECIFICATION THAN THE GREEK PAIR, ONE IS LOWER SPECIFICATION.
    ALL THREE TOGETHER COST LESS THAN ONE GREEK PAIR.
    THE LAST TIME I BOUGHT A FEW YEARS AGO TWO OF THE UK GLASSES WERE THE SAME SPECIFICATION AS THE GREEK QUOTE, ONE WAS LOWER.
    THEN THE THREE UK GLASSES COST ABOUT HALF THE GREEK QUOTE FOR ONE PAIR.

I am sure all other forum members are quite capable of understanding the comparison.

Warwick

mouche
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:43 pm

Re: Greek Business

Postby mouche » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:03 am

I have most certainly noted that you now talk about two free pair of glasses of a different (cheaper/lower) qualtity which you originally omitted to specify thus my apple/apple versus apple/cucumber comparison! Read what you have written!


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