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Society

EU Urges Greece to Accept Professionals from Other Countries

November 9, 2018

The European Commission said it wants Greece to push a procedure to recognize professionals from other European Union countries who aren’t allowed to work in the country despite their training and background in an attempt to protect Greek workers.

EU law stipulates that applications for recognition of qualifications must be treated within a reasonable time frame or a four-month maximum but in Greece it can take 11-18 months. There was no explanation why the country wasn’t sanctioned or fined for violating the law as it’s common in the EU for countries to drag their heels without having to worry about punishment.

“This has a negative impact on professionals, who cannot access the labor market in Greece and cannot exercise the profession either as a self-employed person or as an employee,” the Commission said in a press release as successive Greek governments have tried to protect monopolies from competition.

The Commission had already opened an infringement procedure against Greece in 2016, which was closed in 2017 as Greece had adopted a number of measures. “However, it appears that these measures were not sufficient to absorb the delays,” the Commission said, giving Greece two months to respond without indicating what would happen if it was ignored.

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