You think, Noah would have been able to build the famous Ark in case he was living in Greece? That would be a very big #FAIL. The human-animal-rescue project would be have been able to conclude for three simple reasons: 1) the notorious Greek bureaucracy 2) the slowness of the Greek public sector and 3) the absurdity of regulations and laws.
A timeless joke circulating on Greek internet since 2003… A joke? No! that’s Greek reality. Valid even today. Ten years after.
The Lord appeared to Noah and told him: In one year I will make it rain and
cover the whole earth with water and destroy everything. However I want that you rescue the righteous and honorable people and two animals of each species existing on earth. I order you to build an ark.
And God gave Noah the blueprints for the ark. In awe before the Lord, Noah took the plans and promised to build the ark. “Remember,” the Lord said, “in a year you will have completed the ark and all the animals have been collected.”
A year later, a storm begins to form, and on all the seas of the earth there is storm. God sees Noah sitting in his yard and cry. “Noah!”, He calls, “where is the Ark?”
“Forgive me Lord,” Noah asks, “I did what I could, but I ran into major problems.
First of all I had to apply for a permit for the construction and the plans
that you gave me, did not correspond to the current scheme. I had to hire a naval architect and remake the plans from the beginning.
Then I came in dispute with the Port Authority over whether the ark needed a fire protection system, rescue boats and rings.
Then my neighbor filed a lawsuit, because I – as he claimed – had crossed my yard boundaries with the construction of the Ark and I also needed a permit from the Building Department.
Further I had a problem to cut wood for the Ark because of a logging ban to protect the mottled owl. Finally I was able to convince the Forest Protection Department that I needed the wood in order to save the owls. However, the animal rights organization did not allow me to catch any owls. And thus we have no owls.
Then the carpenters went on strike, but I managed to reach an agreement with their professional association. Now I have 16 carpenters working on the ark, but I have no owls.
And when I started to collect the remaining animals, a group of activists filed charges against me because I would take only two animals of every kind.
After the matter had been overcome, I was informed by the Ministry of Environment, land use and public projects (YPECHODE), the work could not be continued if I wouldn’t submit any study on the impact of the planned flood on the environment. They did not like the idea of having no responsibility for the decisions of the Creator of the universe.
After that, the topographer of the military demanded a map with the proposed course of the water of the flood. I sent them a globe.
Currently, I’m trying to solve an issue with the Committee for Equality claiming discrimination allegations against me because I take in the Ark no people, who do not belive in you, oh Lord.
Finally, they informed me per bailiff that I owe taxes and a fine, because I did not declare the Ark as a “recreational boat”. Now the tax office has my bank accounts frozen because they think I’m
building the Ark in order to leave the country and avoid paying taxes.
Also, the supreme administrative court (StU) has not yet decided whether the flood was unconstitutional, as it constitutes a religious act.
For at least the next 5 years, I see no chance to be ready with the project,” Noah concluded.
At that very moment, the sky began to clear, the sun to shine and the seas calmed down. The rainbow adorned the horizon. Noah looked in hope to God.
“Lord, this means that you will not destroy the Earth?”
And God replied: “Oh, I wouldn’t bother … Let the Greek state do it.”
Has anything changed since 2003? Do entrepreneurs and investor have it easier now? I tried to add some of the problems Noah would additionally face nowadays.
Nowadays Noah would be in real serious trouble.
Nowadays Noah would have to additionally deal with a thorough check by the tax office and try to escape fines and penalties in form of a little extra money-gift in case he could not convincingly declare his finance resources, i.e. where he got the money from to build the Ark. First of all, he would have to wait until his former tax declarations would be thoroughly checked.
Further he would be in trouble with the carpenters: he would have to prove he pays the social security contributions. Or get in trouble with Employment Agency (OAEE) if he would hire subsidized labor forces who would prove unable to finish the work.
At the same time, Noah would contemplate on why should he pay social contributions to his employees who would go down with the flood anyway.
He would also had to pay his own contributions to social security funds as self-employed and face imprisonment had he been involved in outstanding payments.
He would also have to face the additional and continuous payment of fees, regular an emergency taxes that would blow-up his original budget.
A loan from the bank would be impossible, had he not write down the Ark as a guarantee. Confiscation of the Ark would not be excluded. Ark’s seizure and given free to auction, a risk factor, as well.
Had he wait in hope to get funds for his Ark project through EUFunds (ESPA), he should plan a delay of 5 to 10 years.
Furthermore he would have to deal with several delays as every time he would go to fix an issue with the public sector, he would have to wait for another 2,3,5,6,7 months for a new circular to be published.
PS The story started to circulate again on Greek internet, when a former PASOK MP recently posted it on her website.