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April 14, 2006

More form filling - at the Greek tax office again

Now that I had my Greek tax number we made straight for the tax office so that I could sponsor Claire and she could get her very own tax number.

The first hurdle was that they didn't have the right forms there. I knew from the previous day that we needed forms M1 and M7, but there were no copies of form M1 in the rack. I started trying to explain to the guy on the desk, but he waved me over to another guy who spoke English.

We interrupted the middle of someone else's transaction for me to say: "I need to get a tax number for my wife, and we need form M1 but there isn't one"

"You need form M1 and M7 and your passport"

"Yes, yes, I understand, but there is no copy of form M1 over there"


"You need form M1 and M7 and your passport"

[long sigh]


So we stopped back at the original desk not knowing what to do next, when suddenly the first guy reappeared with a big grin and a batch of the correct forms. We were back in business.

I thought I would be able to fill in the form from a combination of memory and by looking at the words on the certificate I had been given in return the previous day. Hmmm, it wasn't that easy.

"This looks like it says something like 'Genesis' - maybe that is where your birthdate goes? I had to write mine down. Or it could the place for you to write your favourite Phil Collins track? One or the other"

We filled in as much as we could, took our delicatessen number, and waited. Of the four clerks we were willing us to get the guy who spoke English, and not the scary guy I'd seen the day before. In the end we got neither.

We presented our documents. The guy looked at them, and then said:

"Belam, Martin Robert?"

"Yes, that's me", I said.

"I can see that" he said.

Everyone laughed.

Then he said "To be a representative for someone you have to stay in Chania and be a Greek national"

Oh. This was news to us.

"I do stay in Chania and I have a tax number."

I handed him the certificate I got the day before. He was more interested in who had been the representative for me. There was some discussion with the guy next door.

"You have to be a Greek national"

"OK, thanks"

So, we have to make a new plan. We hope that our landlord will be happy to be a representative for Claire as well, so we grabbed some blank copies of the required forms, and left for our next task.

"OK then, shall we go and find out why we can't have a bank account?"

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