Velike slicnosti sa Srbijom zar ne?Sofia is a charming young woman whose first job was working for the state-owned electricity company (the DEI).
It was meant to have been privatised many years ago but they never quite got around to it, which was fine because although it is inefficient on a heroic scale, it was always able to find jobs for anyone with the right connections.
Sofia had no connections but she is mildly diabetic and so was deemed to qualify for a state job. That's how it worked.
When she hit her late 30s, she decided to retire and was given a pension - admittedly not a full pension but that didn't really matter because she had another income.
This came from her art supply shop - a very nice little business that she'd spent five years building up.
Five years when she should have been working at the DEI. Not in her spare time but full-time. She simply stopped going to work.
So did another young woman who shared Sofia's office - or would have done if Sofia had been there.
She did pop in occasionally, but not so often that it got in the way of her real job as an English teacher in one of Athens's many private language schools.
Both young women displayed admirable enterprise and are, to this day, puzzled at the notion that anyone else might have suffered as a result of it. Nor are they uncommon.
At the local council offices of a sizeable town near Athens, two 'technicians' have not shown up for work for a decade. The man responsible for signing the pay cheques might not even have known he was paying 'ghost' employees.
And as for those who did know the truth, well, you just don't say anything, do you?
My son (who inherited at least some of his father's work ethic) told his friend, who lives there, if he'd known what was going on he might well have had something to say about it.
But he admits he was rather naive in the ways of Greek tradition. Here's how his friend put it: 'If I grassed on my colleagues there'd be all kinds of repercussions. First, there would be some kind of family link somewhere. Maybe not a blood relation but someone's best man's daughter would have been baptised by my second cousin's uncle.
'Secondly, the technicians would almost certainly run another business - maybe the only electrician or plumber's in town. What would happen when my fuse box exploded or my water tank sprang a leak?'
And even if he'd been prepared to risk all that, he would have still stayed silent. As he says, it's against the very nature of a Greek to snitch to the authorities.
They'd be far more likely to slap the miscreants on the back and say something like 'Bravo, you old fox! You've found yourself a nice little earner there!'
But don't Greeks resent paying their taxes if they know they are effectively being stolen? Well, that assumes they pay their taxes in the first place and an awful lot don't.
They regard civil servants (often with justification) as being either so corrupt or so inefficient that half of it will only end up in someone's back pocket.
Kumovske veze pri zaposljavanju,fantomski radnici koji samo primaju plate ali ne rade u drzavnoj firmi vec u svojoj privatnoj,retko ko placa porez,oni koji uspeju da prevare drzavu se proglasavaju herojima...