The Greek to the Architectural Council ...the joys of Greece

Tom Winnifrith Friday 3 June 2016


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The forestry permit was meant to take three months but took seven. Our architects - who one imagines are not exactly rushed off their feet with new projects - then took another two and a half months getting ready plans which were meant to have been ready when Forestry came through. But last week I was told that we will submit for a Building permit next week.

No-one answered my emails since then and so this morning I paid a surprise visit to the architects and was told that plans had been submitted but not for a building permit but to the Architect's Council which, it emerges, is a new hurdle to overcome. No-one had mentioned these guys before but apparently they will take only one month to rubber stamp our documents. That is one Greek month or anything up to three months in English. And then we can apply for a Building Permit which will take 3-4 months even though we are the only folks in the whole region who have both the money to pay for a building project and are a young enough to live through all of the regulatory hurdles.

A building permit will take 3-4 months Greek time. I reckon we will be lucky to be rebuilding the Greek Hovel this side of Christmas.

What is the point of all this red tape you ask? It is simple it is how the Greek State creates jobs for all the millions of folks on its payroll. It makes it impossible to do business here so it helps to trainwreck the economy but that is socialism for you. Greece is the ultimate demonstration of Lady Thatcher's observation that the problem with socialists is that eventually they run out of other people's money.

Twenty years ago I would have been infuriated by news of the Architect's Council. Today I just shrug it off. This is Greece. Everything happens avrio (tomorrow) but in the end it does happen, of that I can be sure. Meanwhile I can just sit back, enjoy another ouzo and prune my olive trees. Life goes on.

Back in Britain the people I know work frantically shuffling bits of paper living in a mad old City, rushing hither and thither and becoming ever more stressed by life on the hamster wheel. It is no contest.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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