Saturday 7 April 2007

Bureaucracy in France

One of the shocks for an Englishman moving to Paris is amount of everyday paperwork and bureaucracy you have to face. from popping into the post office or trying to open a business it's a real burden.

Whereas opening a bank account is relatively straightforward in the UK here it can take months. I've been turned for a bank account several time in Paris because:
"You are out of our geographical zone" I lived 5 minutes away by Metro.
"We only accept, applications from people invited by other customers" why?
"We are going on holiday, please could you come back in September" This was in July.
Even when they say yes, it's not that simple. The amount of paperwork you have to produce is really annoying. And there seems to be some unwritten law that whatever, information you provide for them there is always one bit of paper that is missing.
"Did you bring your passport", "yes"
"recent electriciy bill","yes"
"recent telephone bill", "yes"
"letter from landlord", "yes"
"contract from employer", "yes"
"Astrological chart of your ancestors stretching back to the 17th Century", "huh?"
"Oh dear, I'm afraid......"

And then the fees that they charge.........but that's another story.


Anonymous said...

it's because they work only 35 hours per week, or maybe because they're mischievous bastards?

Gideon said...

I think a bit of both.