Issues of Greek Expatriates

The Greek Diaspora has always a crucial factor in shaping the Modern Greek State. However, multiple bonds -legal as well as factual- with the Greece and the host country at the same time have contributed to the emergence of complex legal ramifications.

The present situation only serves to multiply these problems and worries of Greek expatriates.

These difficulties relate to the entire range of the legal order and as a result they require multi-faceted legal representation before Greek as well as Foreign authorities including courts. This leads inevitably to an increase of the cost of legal services.


The entry into force of a new Code of Taxation of Income (Law 4172/2013) and a new Code of Tax Precedure (Law 4174/2013) will inevitably lead to questions pertaining to their interpretation. 2014 was the first year of their implementation and disputes between the tax authorities and taxpayers will inevitably arise. The confusion also applies to accountants given that even circulars are being issued even after tax returns have been filed. On the other hand new procedures render the protection of the rights of taxpayers –especially expatriates- even more difficult.


Greek expatriates residing in the EU may encounter problems in relation to the recognition of insurance time with respect to their work in a state in the EU in order to get or improve their pension in Greece and vice versa. The relevant provisions are often vague and Greek Social Security Institutions may pose bureaucratic obstacles which require the insured person’s presence in Greece.


The absence of an owner from Greece for a prolonged period may lead to the property being claimed either by the Greek State or third parties that take advantage of the owner’s absence. To counter such actions, seizing the courts is often required. The gradual completion of the Land register also creates several issues. In addition, property tax is ever changing in Greece, while Laws that provide for the legalization of illegally built buildings, with issues arising with respect to those laws’ implementation and their challenging before the Council of State.


The death of a relative in Greece unfortunately leads to multiple legal ramifications. From continued payment of pensions to relatives to inheritance tax and third parties that contend the inheritance and legalization of the deceased’s property, protecting the rights of greek Expatriates entails their effective legal representation before authorities and/or civil and administrative courts.


Service in the Army remains mandatory in Greece even for Greeks born and living abroad. This is a constant source of concern given the multiple disciplinary and criminal sanctions imposed on “evaders of service”. Legal advice can lift any doubt and result in legal actions to delay conscription or even to be excused from it altogether in certain cases prescribed in law.


The “haircut” imposed on Greek Bonds has resulted in the loss of savings for many Greeks living abroad. The latter can sue the Greek State of the financial institutions that mediated or benefitted from sales of such Bonds.


Investments in Greece are often desired by Greeks living abroad, but Greek bureaucracy acts as a “counter-incentive”. Issues relating to the incorporation under Greek company and business law, human resources and taxation or participation to public procurement are basic obstacles to doing business in Greece.


For all the above KREMALIS - Law Firm can aid all Greeks living abroad through either advice or legal representation before all competent authorities. For more info:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." rel="alternate"> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..