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Final liberalization of "closed" professions

30 August 2014 / 16:08:26  GRReporter
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The government is planning the final liberalization of all professions within the implementation of the commitments to the creditors who point out in all reports that the liberalization of the professions has been significantly delayed.

The government has created a new committee to avoid another red card in Paris that could hamper the approval of tax incentives and block the plan for the auctions as well as that for the contributions to settle the arrears to the tax services and pension funds, and even lead to exerting new pressure for changes in insurance and employment on the part of the Troika.

As stated in the decision of Minister of Finance Gikas Hardouvelis, based on good European practices, it will undertake specific initiatives to completely liberalize the closed professions.

This will bring some major changes in some sectors, including those related to lawyers, notaries, engineers, petrol stations, health professions and more.

The commission that involves representatives of 6 ministries will have to compile a list of all professions and economic activities. Then it will describe and evaluate all necessary documents and conditions for the start and development of regulated professions and activities, taking into account for the evaluation the principles of indispensability, proportionality and non-discrimination.

This commission of 40 members will have to submit to the government proposals for the appropriate legislative and administrative measures required for the liberalization of the closed professions.

The Memorandum provides for the abolition of a number of limitations in the following professions:

* Lawyers: clarifying a reference of the code of lawyers regarding the minimum pay for employed lawyers; introducing legislative changes to remove from the Bar Code the compensation for voluntary retirement; introducing a provision so that any unilateral change that adversely affects the conditions of the contract be considered as a cause for its termination by the employer.

* Notaries: assessment of the fees and scope of activities of notaries.

* Bailiffs: assessment of the requirements for revenue and the fees.  

* Engineers (including architects and surveyors): eliminating the unreasonable requirements that restrict certain activities in certain professions.

* Fuel trading companies-refineries: legislative changes that require the introduction of inlet-outlet systems in Greece.

* Intermediaries: legislative changes so that the profession can be exercised by non-lawyers.

* Health professions: legislative changes to create day-care clinics and to eliminate the requirements for a square surface.

* Hairdressers, manicurists: revising the licensing regime.

* Load handling operations: introduction of training.

* TV technicians: cancelling the licensing regime.

* Energy inspectors: certification exams.

* Pharmacies: implementing the requirements for ownership and opening hours.

* Recreational activities and sports centres: revising the restrictions for the creation of entertainment and sports centres (minimum space requirements, the limited list of activities offered).

  * Sailors: evaluating the exercising of the profession according to European practices, legislative changes to remove irrational requirements.

* Statisticians: legislative changes related to the licensing of the profession.

* Technical occupations (56 in number): replacing the professional experience with courses.

* Trade in fertilizers (10 professions): introduction of training.

* Geotechnical (agronomists, foresters, geologists, ichthyologists): legislative changes to repeal the mandatory issuance of professional licences and the inclusion in a chamber, removing the mandatory presence for municipalities with over 5,000 inhabitants.

Tags: Closed professionsLiberalizationLegislative changesCommission
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