Kilkis wrote:While I agree that the systems here are extremely bureaucratic and highly inefficient the vast majority of the people I have met in having to deal with those systems have been friendly and helpful. The people you deal with are not the ones who designed the system. They can do nothing about the system. It is tempting to blame them for your frustration but usually it is somebody else who designed the system and it is they that deserve your anger not the person behind the desk.
We've found, through personal experience and hearing/reading about the experiences of others that it's the interpretation of the system by 'the person behind the desk' that varies wildly
For example, we had no trouble at our local police station in obtaining the beige residence permit, and then upgrading to blue years later, whereas other police stations drive applicants mad with demands that are *not* part of the system.
Or like when our local tax office, after we'd happily been filing E1s as a married couple for several years, demanded proof that we are married. We showed her our marriage certificate and a lawyer's translation and she homed in on the words 'bachelor' and 'spinster'. No amount of explaining that that was our status when we walked in the register office, not after, would convince her and she set us on a path that involved apostile stamps from the UK and a trip to the official translation office in Athens (from the S Peloponesse where we live, meaning an overnight stay).
And so on ... the stories you read on the Facebook groups for Brit expats are full of such events.
So, no. The obnoxious, obstructive individual behind the desk is often the source of the grief, not 'the system'.
So it is in the case of our parrot - EU rules on the movement of CITES-listed pets are clear, and our import papers from 13 years ago, showing many times that the bird is a *pet*, were accepted as genuine by the Athens CITES people but that wasn't good enough for them. At one point my contact there emailed me in a 20-point bold font after *she* had made a factual mistake and I'd gently pointed it out. I have been unfailingly polite to her while she is plain nasty. A licence for nastiness is not a part of 'the system'.