Do I live in Greece or in Kafka’s Castle?

Posted by in Economy, Society

I am clueless. I simply can’t decide whether it’s a kind of  limited brain capacity on my side, whether Greek journalism is bad or whether I live in a country that resembles a crazy house. A storm of circulars, amendments, back doors and exemptions, and new cuts in the welfare state have been bombarding my ears since the morning, exhausting  my grey cells turning the centre of my intellect into a surrendered mash. I am defeated.

I give up and I officially declare that I am totally unable to report on the 1) emergency property tax via power company DEH exemptions, 2) the ‘labour reserve’ of civil servants and the 3) cuts of the so called solidarity allowance to low pensioners (EKAS).

I can only tell you so much:

 1) go ask the electricity company directly – there will be 3-person committees in the tax offices to decide if you are exempted – criteria not known yet (HA!) -  I can tell you so much: The tax bills contain many miscalculations, taxpayers stand for hours in long queues at the DEH offices, they are often advised to seek the tax office which sends them back to DEH. One thing is sure: until the final -final circular is issued by the FinMin no electricity will be cut.

2) do get involved if it doesn’t personally affect you – it’s the pure labyrinth of exemptions and criteria and years of work and… and… I can tell you so much: it looks as if the new Transport Minister Makis Voridis will exempt workers at public transport from the measure.

3) stay away from the issue and give a food basket to your pensioner neighbor -  31.638 pensioners will see their income decreased by average 200 euro per month if their year income is more than €8,472 – I can tell you so much: if you deduct the 10%  tax and further deduct the emergency poll-tax, you may start screaming…

I apologize from KTG-readers for my inabilities to report about these three issues.

And deep in my heart I feel again like Land Surveyor <K> in Franz Kafka’s novel The Castle. A book I started to read three times and gave up always at the same page.

“In Kafka’s The Castle  a protagonist, known only as K., struggles to gain access to the mysterious authorities of a castle who govern the village for unknown reasons. Kafka died before finishing the work, but suggested it would end with the Land Surveyor dying in the village; the castle notifying him on his death bed that his “legal claim to live in the village was not valid, yet, taking certain auxiliary circumstances into account, he was permitted to live and work there”. Dark and at times surreal, The Castle is about alienation, bureaucracy, the seemingly endless frustrations of man’s attempts to stand against the system, and the futile and hopeless pursuit of an unobtainable goal.”

K’s Castle Landscape