Giannis Dimantis has been living in an incredible bureaucratic adventure. For whole 14 years, he has been trying to prove that he is not dead. In vain. Greek bureaucracy is holding him firm in its hands.
Diamantis’ adventure began 14 years ago when he went the municipality of Egaleo where he is registered resident in order to vote for the elections of 2003.
He was told he cannot vote because he was not on the constituency list.
He went to Municipality registry to find out that was the problem and why he was deleted from the voters’ lists. Municipality workers simply told him “You are dead!”
At the same time he was declared ‘dead’ by the Egaleo registry, another resident of the municipality with the same name and family name had indeed passed away after hospitalization in a Piraeus hospital. The deceased’ father and mother’s names matched also with those of Diamantis. Only the year of birth was different.
From the Egaleo Municipality he was sent to Athens Registry and from there to prosecutor. The man of law advised him to appeal to court and demand a correction.
When he did so, the judges turned down his appeal saying that the appeal needs to be made by the dead Giannis Diamantis -or better say: by his family-and not by the alive Giannis Diamantis.
Desperate and lost in the country’s bureaucracy, Diamantis and his wife turned to the media. The couple appeared at a morning magazine of private ANT1 TV on Monday.
They told about the unprecedented torture they have been suffering for 14 years.
“At one point, municipality workers in Athens asked me: Are you sure your husband is alive?” the perplexed woman said on camera.
The mistake committed by the Egaleo Municipality has been causing numerous troubles to the couple all these years.
Giannis Diamantis could not accept his father inheritance when he died in 2015 for he was dead on the papers. His son, born before 2003, suddenly was not covered by his father’s health insurance. The family does not receive family allowance because Giannis Diamantis is neither dead nor alive.
And, of course, his wife does not receive widow pension.
The bureaucratic trap has cost the couple already several hundreds of euros in hiring a lawyer and court expenses. When they finally clear the issue, they will be fined when they will accept the grandfather’s inheritance.
A lawyer present at the TV magazine panel offered to pick up the fight with the Diamantis couple free of charge.
Side note: While Giannis Diamantis is dead for the registry he is alive and kicking for the tax office. Every year he files his tax declaration and pays his taxes.
PS the tax office doesn’t not care if you are dead or alive. As long as tax are paid and revenues increase.