Undeclared Labor Painting a “Black” Picture for Greece

undeclared labor

A growing number of Greek professionals, unable to meet the demands of a Greek state system that often requires freelancers to pay tax on money they don’t receive, are closing their receipt books to make ends meet. The Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen and Merchants (GSEVEE) warns that there is a rising trend in undeclared work.

In some sectors, such as hairdressing, there are around 40 percent of hairdressers practising their profession door-to-door without issuing receipts for their services. For obvious reasons, it is hard to fully assess the size of undeclared labor.

GSEVEE President George Kavvathas estimated that black market labor may be at 35-40 percent of the GDP during the conference organized by the Ministry of Labor, titled “Group Negotiations of the European Social Model and the Future of Employment.” He said that the role of social partners will need to be upgraded for the situation to improve. “A good start would be the return of group contracts. However, we will not need to limit ourselves to that. Nonetheless, we will not need to limit ourselves only to these. A trilateral body (government – employers – workers) would help in the creation and promotion of policies (with the contribution of international organizations such as the ILO) on the condition that they understand the Greek situation and its uniqueness.”

Kavvathas stressed the importance of investigating mechanisms to clamp down on the black market workforce as undeclared income continues to drain funds from the state.


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