BUSINESS

Greek firms looking for escape routes from high payments

ROULA SALOUROU

TAGS: Economy, Business

Hikes in social security contributions and taxes, coupled with rumors that contributions for 2017 will be calculated on the basis of earnings in 2015, have spurred thousands of self-employed professionals to move the headquarters of their businesses to countries with more favorable conditions.

Initial estimates suggest that between 65,000 and 70,000 transfer applications by Greek businesses are currently pending, while the Finance Ministry is considering bilateral agreements with Bulgaria and Cyprus to be allowed to inspect companies that have relocated to those countries.

Another measure being adopted by troubled business owners is changing the legal status of their firm so that they or their shareholders do not have to be insured, raising more concerns about the sustainability of the social security system.

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