Greece Will Give 50% Tax Break for Workers Abroad, Skills Wanted

November 13, 2020

ATHENS – Greece's New Democracy government is trying to entice scores of thousands of professional workers abroad to move to the country and bring their skills, offering a 50 percent exemption on income tax.

The aim is to create more jobs and utilize the talents of some of the country's best and brightest who fled to other countries in search of work and a batter life, held down by Greece's clientelism system that rewards those with political connections and holds down entrepreneurs.

Alex Patelis, who advises Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on financial matters, told the news agency Reuters that Greece hoped to attract "digital migrants" after the COVID-19 pandemic let people work remotely.

"A worker from abroad who moves to Greece will be eligible for a 50 percent exemption on income earned here for seven years under the plan," he said adding that legislation will be brought to Parliament by the end of the year.

While the attraction would be especially keen for Greeks who left and those in the Diaspora whose jobs allow them to live anywhere, it's offered to those moving to Greece or a company relocating a worker.

There are limits: the incentive package will be available only during 2021 and only people who have not been Greek tax residents within the last seven years will be eligible, which could lock out thousands.

"The main criterion for eligibility for the tax incentive is tax residence," Patelis said, but didn't explain if Greeks working abroad for more than seven years would be eligible as Greece taxes citizens on worldwide income.

There will be no restrictions on levels of income or types of work, although the government hopes to attract professionals and to lure back some of the estimated 800,000 Greeks who left during the years-long debt crisis to pursue careers abroad. "An extra push is needed to see them return," Patelis said.

There were no reports that the tax break would be given to those living in Greece who have the same skills as those who return. 

"The Coronavirus pandemic has also shown that it is possible in many cases for one to choose where to live and work thanks to technology. We can have digital migrants,” said Patelis.

Greece also hopes to get workers who moved to the United Kingdom, which is leaving the European Union at the end of the year. "We just want to get a share of that pie," he added.

Any Greek or foreigner, regardless of nationality, who has been tax domiciled outside of Greece for at least seven of the last eight years will be able to utilize the incentives planned according to the regulation if they create one new job, said Kathimerini.

The measure was conceived over the UK's EU departure after investment banks showed interest in opening offices in Greece or expanding those already in Greece, the paper also said.

Sources not named said three banks have contacted the government which believes interest could spread to other types of companies as well as workers who have the special skill sets most wanted.

The government hasn't yet considered imposing any restrictions regarding the income or profession of those who benefit from this clause, as has been the case in Spain, Italy, Sweden and France. 

“Technology allows us to choose where we live and work,” Patelis told the Bloomberg financial news agency. “Besides the sun, the country can now offer tax incentives too."


ATHENS - Greece's primary surplus stood at €1.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


Immigrant Families Rejoice over Biden’s Expansive Move Toward Citizenship, While Some are Left Out

HOUSTON (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of immigrants had reason to rejoice when President Joe Biden unveiled a highly expansive plan to extend legal status to spouses of U.

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in for a second term as South Africa's president on Wednesday in a ceremony in the administrative capital, Pretoria, after his reelection with the help from a coalition of parties, a first in the country's 30-year rule.

MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Storm Alberto formed on Wednesday in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, the first named storm of what is forecast to be a busy hurricane season.

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) — Croatia and Albania drew 2-2 in an intense battle at Euro 2024 on Wednesday, a result that could make it difficult for both teams to survive the group stage.

NEW YORK – The passing of the baton at the Olympiakos Fan Club of New York, which is set to change leadership for the first time since its founding nearly 30 years ago.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.