An incredible story surfaced on Friday on Crete‘s ekriti website, involving a 75-year old man and the debts he purportedly owes to his local tax office. Or perhaps it is not all that incredible, considering the infamous workings of the Greek bureaucracy.
According to the story, the man’s children made an application five months ago asking for the issuance of a tax clearance certificate on their father’s behalf. Simple enough, right?
But not quite. The children were informed that the certificate could not be issued due to an outstanding debt that their father had not yet paid to the tax office in Heraklion.
When they asked how much money their father owed, the tax office told them that the outstanding debt was a cool €2,934,702,861.33!
The children were understandably shocked, but they were soon told by the local tax authorities that this could not possibly be true, as it was obviously a mistake.
But their adventure with Greek bureaucracy had only begun.
Unfortunately, and after numerous appointments, the family of the 75-year old, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, has still not been able to fix the mistake.
Despite everyone plainly acknowledging that the figure could not possibly be accurate, the procedures to correct the debt the man owes are extremely convoluted and take a great deal of time.
As a result, the unlucky man has still not been able to obtain his tax clearance certificate, five months after the mistake was discovered and acknowledged.
The employees of the tax office in Heraklion believe that the mistake happened due to an incorrect date.
The man indeed owed an amount of approximately €8,000. However, the automated system had mistakenly written that this debt has not been paid since January 1, 1900.
This means that the unlucky man from Crete has been charged for more than 119 years’ worth of interest.
Joking about the situation, the son of the 75-year old man told ekriti that ”When I learned that he owes approximately €3 billion, I thought that he could now fix the financial problems of Greece!”