16th June 2014
A complex array of burdensome company law, tax administration and public procurement regulations in Greece should be reduced and simplified to generate hundreds of millions of euros a year, according to a new OECD report. One-quarter of existing red tape could be cut to save its businesses a total of €3.3 billion and improve their competitiveness by reducing administrative burdens.
Greece must reduce the layers of administrative requirements on businesses to support economic growth and jobs, according to the OECD, which says that three-quarters of the costs relate to company law, tax administration and public procurement.
The report makes 87 recommendations for cutting down paperwork in 13 areas, including energy, telecommunications and fisheries.
Tax law in particular has been singled out by the Paris-based body, which says this accounts for 47 per cent of the administrative burden on firms. Company law and accounts make up 18 per cent, the OECD study said.
It calls on the Greek government to set a turnover threshold of €10,000, below which companies would not have to submit receipts to register value-added tax payments. The OECD also wants to see a reduction in the legal requirements on publishing annual financial statements, as well as the simplification of annual leave records that need to be kept by employers.
Farmers ought to have simpler and faster access to European Union development aid, rather than a cumbersome existing system that uses intermediaries, the OECD said.
Other reforms include extending the use of framework agreements in public procurement across all sectors, to make it simpler to draw up specific contracts. The OECD also wants Greece to enable environment permits to be submitted and tracked online.
“This report takes a careful look at what it is costing Greek businesses to comply with rules and regulations which in many cases are unnecessary,” said OECD deputy chief of staff Luiz de Mello. “Cutting some of this red tape would enable companies to spend less on administration and more on doing business.”