Living Through the Greek Crisis

Visas, Blogging and Taxes-Ah Greece

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This blogging is the most difficult thing! I spend hours just trying to figure out how to make my site appealing?? Then I  take the time to read others and I am really bad at this. Like Facebook, I will post something and then not bother to look or like my friends posts. I am the worst Facebook friend one could have! Mainly, I use it just to let everyone know we are still alive and some how surviving this crisis. 

As I work out this whole blogging thing I get a little anxious for why I have no comments. I have views, don’t get me wrong but no comments. So I continue my lessons on how to make it more appealing. Where I should be writing a 20-page research paper on Greece and a 15 page history paper on international aid. I get side tracked with blogging. Ok, I know excuses excuses or excuses.com as my kids say.

Honesty…

Back to the reason I write this blog. 

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As of today or let’s say yesterday, we are with no money at all! Still haven’t paid my rent the water bill of 200 euro lingers and the electric is awaiting their 300 euro advanced payment, which they will (someday) get around to checking my meter only to tell me that I owe them more!! On an ironic note before I continue. In December they sent me a bill that I owed 1,400 euro. Ok I about lost it when I saw that!! It was in Greek so I had to wait for Stefano to come home and explain it to me. Because the government was flat out with their own debts they decided to add on a special tax of 700 euro (this is the Greek way of drumming up revenue, fast) In reality though it was a property tax added into the electricity bill. http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/1/51141 Of course NO ONE can pay this. So when you go down to talk to them and tell them you can’t pay it they forgive you, for the time being!! (so much for fast cash) I have been through this so many times. Like when they decided to make all illegal aliens legal but you would end up paying a ridiculous amount of money to get your visa (and loads of running around) only to get a paper that says you are waiting to get your visa. Which meant, you could work, pay taxes, buy a car, have a bank account and pay your Ensima (Greece’s form of social security). However, you can not leave the country unless it is in the specified times, Christmas, Easter and Summer. But again only during the time frame they give you and ONLY to your own country!! In my case they finally gave me my VISA one week after it had expired and I had to wait a year for that. (Greek style)  That meant that I would wait once again a year for the next visa! (please let me use “lol” here!!!) 

Although I had no desire to go for a visit to the states (I was happy traveling the islands) I felt as though I was in jail. *Note this was from 2004-2008 when I had money here. Now I am in jail once again with NO visa hoping they will give it back in September. Remember this means, I cannot work here! Until they give me my visa back or that paper stating I can do all that I mentioned above. Ahhhhhhhhh!!! To make a long story short and to be perfectly honest. It is impossible to do anything in this country. No matter how much money you have there is always going to be a wall you will come up against. Really this country should be at the bottom of the list on http://www.doingbusiness.org/!!!! Nobody enforces contracts and everybody has to pay under the table to get one or another approval by a public source! 

As I searched for an add in the Athens News about the property tax added to the electric bill I was finding myself slipping into a sort of depressing feeling. I try to keep this blog light but it is hard when you have this reality cloud hanging over you.

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Author: Pamela Ann

Greetings, I am a single mother of five, who has chosen to widen her children's eyes to the fact that the world is not just the luxury countries they are used to (Japan and the US). We left everything we know to move to Greece. A country with a first world life style on a second world salary. With this adventure we have ended up trying to survive the financial crisis here. Living on bare necessities hoping things will change soon. Although I am a beginner at blogging please bare with me as I find my way. I promise to keep you entertained, informed with real events that you can not get in the news and perhaps break your heart a little along the way. Thank you for taking the time to share in someone else's reality. One you may not possibly be able to comprehend as it is hard for me and my children to comprehend as well.

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