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Greece, new Insurance Bill: ‘casus belli’ for sole traders and scientists

L’ Indro met three young professional who put a light on the main affects

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Athens – The new insurance bill brings tremendous changes to the contributions paid by sole traders and scientists, who were I an endless and –for many of them- fruitless dialog with the Ministry of Employment. Last winter was marked by unceasing lawyers strike which made justice even more delayed and deprived many lawyers from their main income for months.

L’ Indro met three young professional who put a light on the new insurance bill main affects.


What changes with the new insurance bill?

According to Manthos Triantafillos, young lawyer, “the new insurance bill mainly changes the way in which contributions are paid. Henceforth, lawyers’ contributions will be paid according to their income, not depending on the years of advocacy or capacity. Compared with the previous system, despite the reductions, the average taxation of a lawyer amounts to 54-60%. The bar association has calculated that for a payment of 100 euros, the  70% will be paid to the state, while the remaining 30% covers fixed costs and you are called to live”.

Regarding to the pensionary system, the new generation is called to maintain a system that yield high paying very high pension contributions which will never reap. This is called solidarity between generations. “I think that freelancers have already been subjected to high burdens which are not in alliance with the general economic conditions. The new bill softens the burden for those with lower incomes, but sharply increases the burdens on middle incomes” remarks Sotiris Katselos, communications’ professional.

As Yiannis Demakopoulos, scientist and sole trader observes, “the situation will be more difficult for those sole traders that earn from 2000 euro per month and they pay their taxes. May this amount sound enormous, but let’s consider that behind the business there is usually a family and high monthly expenses”.

What the consequences will be for a new middle income lawyer?

Being a lawyer is becoming unsustainable. Most lawyers will lead either to quit the profession or to leave the country. Already some are considering to set up a company in Cyprus, paying 17% there and in Greece only receipts. Others will be forced to work in big offices as low salary employees rather than as self-employed”, explains Mr. Triantafillos. With regards to the living standards of the average Greek lawyer, they cannot be compared with the average European as in Greece there are many young lawyers not able to be absorbed by a small market.

You think that a low income sole-trader can cope with the new contributions?

The problem of the contributions should be judged along with other businesses’ costs, such us high and unstable taxation, high VAT etc. For middle income earners contributions are enormous, which will lead many freelancers trying to avoid to declare profits or to be afraid to magnify their business activity”, Mr. Katselos explained, while for Mr. Demakopoulos, a middle-income sole trader with family and loyal at paying the contributions, is going to live beyond his/hers means with the new contributions imposed.

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