Greece - The decline of the freelance professional


The financial crisis has hit freelance and self-employed professionals hard, with declared income shrinking by 60 per cent, Ekathimerini reports.

After a decade, many freelancing professionals have reduced or ended their working activity altogether. Their number falling by 40 per cent during the crisis.

Official statistics reportedly show around 1 million freelancers and self-employed in 2010 declaring incomes of €24billion. Seven years later 610,000 professionals remained. Declared incomes were under €10billion.

The overall Greek income drop across the crisis was €27billion, reflecting both heavy taxation on earnings and the hike in social security contributions in the years up to 2017 in addition to the reduction of salaries and pensions.

Data demonstrates that taxpayers declared incomes of €100.3billion in 2010. In 2017 only €73.6billion was declared. Salary workers simultaneously lost €9billion per annum (22.6 per cent of their income).

Tax evasion rose during the crisis. The monitoring mechanism allowed evasion to increase, unnoticed. However, salary workers were unable to conceal their revenues as other professionals could. 2 million salary workers declared incomes of €39.7billion in 2010. By 2017 the figure was €30.7 billion. Average annual income fell from €20,000 in 2010 to €13,850 in 2017.

The incomes of pensioners dramatically dropped, despite growth in their number. 1.6 million pensioners declared incomes of€26.8billion in 2010. In 2017 2.25 million pensioners declared €25.2billion. Average revenues fell from €16,750 to just over €11,000. A decline of 34.3 per cent

The financial crisis has hit freelance and self-employed professionals hard, with declared income shrinking by 60 per cent, Ekathimerini reports.