Research by Athens-based think tank the Markos Dragoumis Center for Liberal Studies (KEFiM) shows that, out of the 365 days of the year, the average Greek spent 178 days, or nearly half the year, working just to pay their taxes and social security contributions.
And this is an improvement from 2018, when Greeks worked 181 days to pay the state.
“Over the last five years, half the income generated in Greece (48-50%) has gone to the state. In 2018, Greece had the ninth worst result among the 27 European Union members concerning the days citizens work for the state,” the KEFiM report says. Luxembourg (with 289 days), France, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Finland and Italy have “worse” results but are also more advanced economically. Romania, Lithuania, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia and Malta are on the other end of the scale, with the lesser tax burdens.
But the liberal think tank argues that Greeks, especially, do not get value for their money in terms of quality of services. The report also notes that Greeks pay far more for taxes and other levies (€76.8 billion) than they spend on essentials, such as food, clothes, housing, household goods, transport and communications (€43.1 billion).