The work on regulated professions remains central. Regulated professions—which number over 500 in Greece and account for about one third of employment—are subject to tighter restrictions than the OECD average.
As agreed at the outset of the EFF-supported program, the discussions took a sector-by-sector approach. The focus was on eliminating key specific restrictions, for instance on entry, minimum prices, and the mandatory use of services. The professions targeted in this round included several that are important for lowering consumer costs (real estate brokers, private schools, primary care services), reducing business transaction costs (lawyers, custom brokers), and reducing business input costs (stevedores, accountants). Some of the liberalization built on measures already undertaken in some professions (lawyers and accountants) (MEFP, Annex I.2). Including the steps taken in this review, the work to date has so far managed to eliminate, de jure, excessive restrictions on most professions, although it will likely yet take some time for de facto conditions to change.