Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What To Do When the EU Services Directive Comes Knocking on Your Door


 (thanks to florent-molinard.fr)

The EU's consultation period on the implementation of the Services Directive closed on 13 September. And the effects are being felt.

As I said in my earlier post countries like Greece and Italy have a long way to go in liberalizing services, including legal services.

The Greek government has now decided that restrictions on multiple offices and tariffs should go. Lawyers are particularly upset. According to Greece.GreekReporter.com (ht to John Steele at Legal Ethics Forum) 15 Greek bar associations have complained that Greek lawyers will suffer through these reforms. Other statements include:
Nikolaos Pagidas heads the bar association on the island of Syros which covers several other Cycladic islands.  He notes that lawyers are struggling to survive. “Do we want lawyers who are independent and battle-ready or lawyers in the employ of multinationals? With the memorandum, with regulations that do not exist anywhere else in Europe, the government is harming lawyers,” Pagidas told Kathimerini. “Why does the financial crimes squad not go after the big-shot lawyers who don’t pay taxes and make an example of them? The squad is raiding the offices of bar associations preparing protest action, in a bid to cow them, but it leaves alone those who never pay taxes…It’s obvious that they have chosen to blacken the image of the whole profession to serve their communication needs.”
Of course Pagidas is wrong, many of the restrictions on practice that the Greek government are removing have long gone elsewhere in Europe. And even perhaps lawyers elsewhere in Europe are paying their taxes.

I'm also trying to picture "battle-ready" Greek lawyers.

(thanks to pfangirl)

But then then he would say that.
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