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Social security fund governor urges Greece’s self-employed to “go to Bulgaria” if they can’t pay contributions

It is not a secret that under the bailout agreements, Greece’s self-employed are charged with higher taxes and social security contributions each and every year.  Many, especially from northern Greece,  have moved their business basis to neighboring Bulgaria for obvious reasons: 10% tax instead of 29%, low social security contributions, incentives. These is talk that 60,000 businesses have moved in the last seven years of austerity.

No wonder that self-employed and freelancers complain about taxation, contributions and cut pensions, no wonder they are furious about the social security contributions hikes that come with the new year.

When Dimitris Tsakiris, governor of Greece’s Self-employed Fund (OAEE), visited Florina and Veria in Northern Greece in order to inform local communities about the upcoming hikes, it was clear that the meeting with self-employed and OAEE-pensioners would turn …explosive.

The locals complained that 80% of their turnover will go to the state in form of taxes ans contributions.

Apparently Tsakiris had no other idea than to urge them to grab alternative solutions.

“Everyone who fails to pay contributions and considers it patriotic should go to Bulgaria and take his family with him.”

Speaking to daily Kathimerini, Tsakiris said later that his statement was “misinterpreted.”

He claimed, he wanted to demonstrate that Greeks’ vividness and originality should not be exhausted in ways of tax evasion and contribution avoidance but used for the development of the domestic economy.

While Tsakiris’ statement triggered an outrage, the best comment came from SYRIZA MP, Nikos Manios who urged him “to go to Bulgaria and become a governor there.” Manios added that this is not a way to answer to concerned citizens and that dialogue should take place.

Tsakiris was appointed governor of OAEE in October 2015.

Debts to OAEE are approximately half a billion euro.

Not much is known about his background except that his CV was very poor, “just 11 lines” as New Democracy pointed out at that time. He was appointed with the votes of SYRIZA, Independent Greeks and Centrists’ Union.

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  1. Greece is a failed state — thanks to Pasok, ND, Germany and the IMF. It is perfectly rational to suggest that Greeks emigrate to a nearby state with low taxes where they have full legal rights as EU citizens. Greece is now a dependency of the EU, and its government cannot reduce taxes. Therefore, emigration is one answer for those who cannot pay them. Either that, or organise a revolution for a new Greece — one that will have no economy and no state expenditure to speak of.

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      A revolution is needed anyway or how fast will pensioners die out when all jobs are done by robots that for sure never will pay any taxes or contributions, already today robots labour hour costs are half of the costs for wage-slaves but it’s just hidden in statistics of media that never count working hours but only the number of “jobs” and it is hidden behind clouds of addiction to toys created by the digital scum and its “progress” that is minimum 1/3 just a result of porn-industry – soon we will see the first waves of rapes because some maniacs had no money for energy for Japanese sex-robots.
      It’s time to take the land before it’s sold to Bayer-Monsanto and other capitalist bastards.

    • No need to emigrate: just domicile your company there and work as a foreign company here i.e. an “investor”. PASOK, by the way, is a registered company in Bulgaria.

  2. What our dear Tsakiris did not say to these disillusioned people is how much he and his entourage cost them every year in salaries and various “perks”. So what if the self-employed are devastated? He will still have money in his pocket every month. Cheers suckers!