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First Visit


To get Tax Numbers you have to go to the local tax office, fill in a form, produce passports, and you get tax numbers issued, its that easy. Well it should be. You just know something is going to go wrong!!!!

So off we trot to the local tax office. After practising my somewhat limited Greek in several offices in the Tax Building we eventually found the right guy to speak to. "Why do you want a tax number" he asked rather perplexed. We told him why and he said he could not issue one until we had residence permits or ID cards from the local Police.

So off we trot AGAIN to the local Police Station. Sorry we are told the guy who deals with this is on holiday for a week...... come back later.

Second Visit

Seven days pass by. We get four passport photos of us each suited and booted and off we trot back to the Police Station to start our previous journey in reverse. The Police was very helpful but pointed out that we couldn't get cards until we had been here for three months and any way they we definitely not required to get tax numbers!!!!!!!!!


If we had any problems with the führer at the tax office we had to tell him to call the BIG and I mean BIG Police man.

So of we trot to the tax office. What a HOOT!!! The little Führer called the BIG Police man and was duly put in his place. Tax numbers were issued.

The only thing is they are all in Greek, so you don't know what occupation they have written for you, as we found out when we tried to open an bank account!!!!

Third Visit

To get the tax form amended from self employed to housewife, and retired police man.

Duly downloaded some translation software and the English-Greek and Greek-English dictionaries that go with it so we could write down in Greek that we were not working. Irene is a housewife and I am retired police officer. Not difficult to translate methinks.

Housewife – Οικοκυρά
Policeman – αστυνομικός

Easy peasy so far. Back to dictionary

retired 2 [re'tired ri'tie(r)d]
adj. απόμερος, συνταξιούχος

Oh dear. Eeny meeny miny mo. Picked the first one and duly added it to the document to present to the führer on Monday.

So Monday arrives, we are happy to be prepared with all our paperwork and new found Greek language skills for the ordeal ahead. We queue for ages with the locals regularly jumping in front us for our audience with the führer. He looks at us with disdain. What do you two want? He asks in a tone to strike fear in hearts of lesser mortals. Not me! I proudly march up, sit down, present our paperwork pointing out the problems we had at the Bank and asked him to amend the details according to the beautifully translated word document. He looked somewhat bemused and asked if I knew what I had written. “Of course” I replied puffing my chest out pride. “Irene is a housewife and I am a retired policeman” daring him to call my local BIG policeman friend. He shrugged his shoulders changed our details and handed our new tax forms to us without saying another word. Yee Haaaaah. Victory number 2 in the battle against bureaucracy.

Off we trot to our young lady friend in the bank and hand over our new papers. She examines them and informs us that I am now a pensioner. No problems with that.. handed over proof of my pension. Irene is unemployed and had to sign another form to confirm that and the process was under way. While waiting for her to complete all the paperwork I told her about our adventure with the führer and showed her my translation. Oh dear she smiled. Here comes that sinking feeling again. It says here she responded that you are a shy policeman. Retired as in shy and retiring.

Oh bollocks!!!!! My mind raced back to visualise the führer leaping around with glee telling all his comrades about how he’d got one over on the shy policeman, leaving them rolling on the floor laughing their asses off.
Bank accounts now opened and lesson two learned. Pride always comes before a fall!!! Ho Humm!! Oh…… and reverse translate to check you have got the correct meaning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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