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Mafia-Style Labor Market: Employers extort part of employees’ salaries

Mafia-style practices in Greece’s labor market: employers hire people with criminal records to extort part of their employees’ salaries. An incredible denouncement has been made by the Association of Private Sector Employees. Workers go to ATMs in the escort of employers’ henchman and give back to employer part of their salary once they have withdrawn it.

According to the Association, this practice is brand new and seems to have replaced an older practice according to which employees were forced to confirm on paper higher salaries than the real amount they used to receive.

The brand new practice was invented after new regulations in the labor market went into effect in December 2016. According to the new laws, employers are required to deposit wages and salaries on employee’s bank account. Through this practice both employers and employees have an official proof of the transaction. Aim of this regulation was to avoid tax evasion and avoidance of social security contributions.

However, it seems that many employers were quick to find ways to bypass the new regulation. They adopted Mafia-style practices to claim back part of the salary they pay to employees. We used to speak of Middle Ages in the Greek labor market after the bailout agreements went into implementation. But now, the exploitation of the labor craft has reached new and unprecedented levels.

On a report broadcast by private ANT1 on Wednesday, an employee said that his boss cashes back some 200 to 300 euros from every salary. He described that he was forced to go to an ATM in the escort of a person of his boss’s trust. He withdraw his salary and gave a part of it to that person.

Speaking on conditions of anonymity, the employee said that many employees allow this to happen out of fear to lose their jobs.

In Greece of bailout and austerity agreements, unemployment in Greece skyrocketed to 27% in 2012 and 2013. It is still high at 23-24 percent, with 75% of the more than one million jobless to be long-term unemployed.

The tragic is that the employee has to pay taxes according to the salary he receives on the company’s papers but not in real life.

The employer appears to be legal at all levels as he can show the labor authorities the bank transaction as a proof for the salary payments. However, he steals the money from the employee and fills his own pockets with extra cash, black money, that is not being taxed.

According to the Association, these henchmen are usually people with a criminal record and are in no labor relation with the employer’s company.

“In case of a denouncement or even a red-handed arrest these henchmen cannot be associated with the employer’s company,” the Association stressed.

PS the practice of contractors to enforce laborers to sign for higher wage is as old as the Greek stones. It has been nicely presented in the epic Greek film Υπάρχει και Φιλότιμο (1965) or Μαυρογιαλούρος  about corruption in the public sector, the unions and political party officials.

But now stealing an employee’s wage has reached new atmospheric levels.

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  1. The solution is simple. The employers who do this are committing very serious criminal offences. The government needs to guarantee protection to complainants, and train the police to record the crimes as they occur. The prison sentences should be no less than 10 years, with no possible reductions. That will stop them. As always, criminals in Greece rely on the incompetence of the State to get away with things.

    • Yes agreed but then all of Greece will be in jail. Almost no one in GR declares their actual salary on the books.

      Many get ‘cash’ bonuses every month or even bribes.

      • keeptalkinggreece

        you still have no idea about GR, right?

        • What are you talking about?
          Are you telling me there is no black money in Greece?
          You must be having a laugh. Everyone I know does something black.
          There is not one Greek that I know that doesn’t evade taxes one way or another, whether it is from their main salary, their dividends, their ‘freelance cash’ work, their rent collection, everything!

          • keeptalkinggreece

            I tell you that employees and pensioners cannot hide income and they receive what they receive after tax is deducted. you have been claiming the same **** for 2 years now.

          • How about employees who work ‘freelance’? Or the ones that get paid a declared salary of 700 but they actually get 1000?

            It helps both the employers and the employees, as the employees declare a lower income tax.

            How is it that most greeks make less than 12,000 EUR a year on their income statement, while GDP per capita is 15,000 EUR? Something doesnt make sense somewhere.

            And don’t get me started on doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc, they make HUGE MONEY BLACK, I know because they always offer me discounts to pay them in cash!

          • You are an idiot. The self-employed in Greece are being screwed with even advance taxes, not to mention VAT of 23% which is appropriate for Scandinavia, not for southern Europe.
            Yes, some doctors with private practices used to operate “off the books” and some in the state sector used to demand fakelaki. This is no longer so common. Of course, there are criminal types who evade taxes — as in germany, the UK, the USA, etc. The problem is that the Greek state does not have enough trained personnel to deal with criminality, and the Troika has done nothing to enable this problem to be solved.
            As for cash payments to minimise VAT charges, I always try to pay in cash. The level of indirect taxation is unacceptable. This has nothing to do with income taxes. If the idiot Germans actually wanted things to work better in Greece, they could have insisted on lower taxes being collected more efficiently and across the board. Instead, they chose to demand high taxes (via a budget surplus) because all that Germany is interested in is collecting money for itself.

          • How about the pensioners that do jobs ‘black’? I know many pensioners that opened coffee shops in their relatives names and work and all their income is black other than their pension.

            Now the govt can help by allowing pensioners to work if they want to as many of them are in their 50’s! But that is against the Greek communism mentality, wait till your parents die, inherit their flats without paying taxes (the old days at least now a bit harder), and just collect the rents and drink coffee for the rest of your life.

            Those days are over, Greeks need to be productive now, and I don’t mean productive by opening bakeries and coffee shops!

          • keeptalkinggreece

            OMG! IMF and Schaeuble have a permanent representative on my website

          • It’s a Schaeuble troll: the IMF trolls are more economically literate.

          • keeptalkinggreece

            true too

  2. When you drive a country to ruin using a well-executed plan and (bought) Quisling governments, it is not surprising that lawlessness and crime take over. It is a matter of time before we witness even worse situations with Mafia mobs, drugs and prostitution taking over, to the delight of some of our northern tourists from the EU (at last, our own Thailand next door!). This is the price when, for the last seven years, apathetic people keep on allowing treacherous and crooked politicians to ruin their lives for the benefit of the Germans and their banks.