Written question – Greek pensions – E-015372/2015

I have been contacted by a resident in the South West who worked in Greece for three and a half years. During that time he paid for his social security stamps and is entitled to a Greek pension as a result. However, changes to the Greek Government pension system have resulted in his pension being ‘suspended’.

Since March 2013, everybody who receives, or will receive, a pension from Greece has been obliged to have a Greek tax ID number (AFM), a Greek social security number (AMKA) and a tax representative in Greece, otherwise their pension is not granted. My constituent has a social security number, and after two years of trying has just received his Greek tax ID; however, he does not live in Greece anymore. The pension in question has now not been paid for nearly two years. I am concerned that the impact of these three requirements is the creation of an artificial barrier preventing those no longer resident in Greece from claiming their pensions.

Could the Commission please clarify whether the requirement to have a tax representative in Greece is against EC law?

Could the Commission also confirm whether stopping these payments to EU nationals who have returned to their country of origin constitutes a further breach of EC law?