Eurostat on Wednesday announced that Greece retains first place in the EU in the category of self-employed, with the figure at 29 percent of the workforce for 2016, followed by Italy with 21 percent.
Besides whatever positive or negative connotations ascribed by analysts to the first-place showing, creditors' auditors have repeatedly claimed that the very high number of self-employed people in the country translates into extensive tax evasion.
According to Eurostat, the number of people recorded as self-employed in the recession-battered country increased slightly in 2016 from 2015, namely, from 1.06 million to 1.063 million in the country of 11 million residents.
Moreover, the latest data from the first quarter of 2017 show that the figure may have reached 1.071 million.
The Eurostat result, moreover, appears to clash with a widely held belief in the country over thousands of self-employed people officially terminating their professional vocation due to high tax and social security contributions. One assessment is that large numbers of self-employed professionals and craftsmen in Greece retained their vocational activity but use "alternative" forms of charging for their services.