15th June 2018
In our latest country guide, we take a look at Greece, a place steeped in culture and home of Colossus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Positivity driving demand
The Greek economy is currently reporting its greatest growth in almost a decade, and the country has just enjoyed a fifth consecutive quarter of expansion, with output increasing by 2.3% between January and March of this year. With the OECD forecasting that Greek GDP will grow by 2% this year and 2.3% next year, many business owners are feeling optimistic. Consequently, there are growing opportunities for contractors looking for international projects.
As one of the top tourist destinations in the world, Greece’s economy is predominantly service-based, with around 71% of its labour-force employed in the sector. However, tech start-ups are on the rise, creating opportunities for engineers, developers and other technically-skilled contract professionals. And with a €400 million investment into SMEs agreed back in March, we can certainly expect to see an up-tick in demand for growth experts and professionals experienced in supporting SMEs from across multiple specialisms.
Contracting in Greece: the legal bit
Clearly, Greece is a great place to seek a new opportunity but there are a few things that contractors need to be aware of. Only non-EU nationals need a work permit to undertake employment in Greece. However, contractors planning to stay for more than 90 days must register at the local Department of Aliens Bureau (found at police stations with a ‘foreigners’ department’) in their area of residency, in order to receive a free Certificate of Registration (sometimes called a Residence Certificate). EU citizens who reside in Greece for 90 days or longer without registering could face a fine.
It’s worth noting that, while a Residence Certificate is issued on the day the application is made, the procedure can be lengthy. Also, the officials processing your application may not speak fluent English so taking a Greek speaker is recommended if you’re not fluent in the local language. In order to obtain this document, contractors will need to supply at least two copies of all of the following documents:
- Application form (available from the Aliens bureau)
- Copy of passport or identity card
- Four passport photos
- Proof of medical insurance: European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), OAEE, IKA or private health insurance
- Certificate from your employer if in paid employment, or proof that you have sufficient financial resources
- Proof of local residence (rental agreement, property ownership documents, or a statement from a person whose name is on the property deed if it is owned by someone else)
- For more information on the documents required in order to apply for a Registration Certificate, see this link to The Greek Police Aliens Bureau
Contractors also need to be aware that they will be subject to Income Tax and Solidarity Tax on a sliding scale according to estimated annual earnings, both of which are deducted at source. Pay is also subject to social insurance deductions. At the end of the contract, a letter to the tax authorities is necessary to de-register.
In order to ensure you are fully compliant with local legislation, partnering with a specialist international contractor management company is strongly advisable. Contact the team today.