I de siste dagene har jeg lest nesten et halvt dusin tilfeller av absurd forretningsskikk i Hellas. Et byråkrati blåst for sunn fornuft. Her er noen av historiene jeg har lest. Vi begynner med en bok/kaffebutikk som hverken selger bøker eller kaffe (hele artikkelen er verdt å lese):
«This is best encapsulated in an anecdote from my visit to Athens. A friend and I met up at a new bookstore and café in the centre of town, which has only been open for a month. The establishment is in the center of an area filled with bars, and the owner decided the neighborhood could use a place for people to convene and talk without having to drink alcohol and listen to loud music. After we sat down, we asked the waitress for a coffee. She thanked us for our order and immediately turned and walked out the front door. My friend explained that the owner of the bookstore/café couldn’t get a license to provide coffee. She had tried to just buy a coffee machine and give the coffee away for free, thinking that lingering patrons would boost book sales. However, giving away coffee was illegal as well. Instead, the owner had to strike a deal with a bar across the street, whereby they make the coffee and the waitress spends all day shuttling between the bar and the bookstore/café. My friend also explained to me that books could not be purchased at the bookstore, as it was after 18h and it is illegal to sell books in Greece beyond that hour. I was in a bookstore/café that could neither sell books nor make coffee.»
Forhandlingene i Hellas er/har vært brutale. En av følgene er noe bisarre ordninger i gresk arbeidsliv. For nærmere 64 000 mennesker er det bare en mulighet for å beholde jobbene. Ikke få betalt en måned. Avtalen er retroaktiv, med konsekvensen at noen må betale tilbake penger for å beholde jobben. De kaller det ‘negativ lønn’:
Salary cutbacks (called «unified payroll») for contract workers at the public sector set to be finalized today. Cuts to be valid retroactively since november 2011. Expected result: Up to 64.000 people will work without salary this month, or even be asked to return money. Amongst them 21.000 teachers, 13.000 municipal employees and 30.000 civil servants.
Og her er historien om nettbutikken Oliveshop.com. Nettbutikken som nesten ikke var.
According to Ekathimerini, the co-founders’ quest to complete all the paperwork for the nascent business included a straight-faced request by the health ministry that each company shareholder provide chest X-rays and a stool sample. A local bank also asked the young entrepreneurs for the entire site be written exclusively in Greek—even though it was mostly aimed at foreign buyers—so that the financial institution could easily confirm the credit card details of customers. (The eventually opted to use PayPal instead.)
Dette er ikke grunnen til at Hellas ligger i ruiner i dag, men det er et seriøst problem for en økonomi som forsøker å stable seg på beina.
Nummer 135 i verden. Grøss.