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What is true about European Payment Orders?

By | News

In a specific case handled by the Rhetor Law Firm with the decision No. 309/21-2-2019, the Thessaloniki County Court applied the European Regulation to a cross-border dispute, accepting the factual and legal claims of the applicant creditor, whose claim for money will be directly met.

On 1.1.2007, Regulation (EC) 1896/2006 was established and regulates the procedure for the European order for payment. The activation of this European mechanism aims at the fast and effective collection of uncontested claims, as late payments are one of the main causes of bankruptcy that threatens particularly small and medium – sized enterprises.

Both the content and the effectiveness of payment order procedures in the Member States of the European Union vary considerably. In addition, in many cases the existing national procedures are inapplicable in cross-border cases.

It is therefore clear that the prospect of national payment order procedures is particularly difficult or impossible in the case of cross-border disputes. These obstacles demand the intervention of the European legislator to ensure the existence of equal terms for creditors and debtors throughout the EU.

The aim of a European order is to simplify, speed up and reduce the costs of cross-border disputes regarding the uncontested financial claims and to ensure the free circulation of European payment orders in all Member States. In this way, the creditor’s claim is directly met, even if it results from a definite claim and reflects the normality of business life.

Rhetor Law Firm and its qualified associates, checking the conditions for the application of the above regulation, can assist in the process of meeting your financial claims and within the EU.

Vivi Pitsari

Attorney at law

CONTACT WITH ONE OF OUR SPECIALIZED PARTNERS
andreas papamimikos

Macedonian trademarks: The next day

By | News

With the Prespes Agreement now being an accomplished reality, and with the International Experts Committee of paragraph 8 Article 3 of Part 1 of the Agreement, which will be required to regulate copyright issues between the two countries, the following questions are genuinely raised by entrepreneurs whose trademarks contain the word “Macedonia” or its derivatives:

  1. After the Prespes Agreement, has the procedure for the registration of trademarks containing the word “Macedonia” or its derivatives changed?

Until the intellectual property issues will be regulated by the International Expert Group, no change exists in the registration process. Any interested party, if the right is established, can guarantee a trademark incorporating the words “Macedonia”, “Macedonian” and any derivative in Greece and the EU.

  1. Is the country specific label mandatory?

There is no such obligation now.

  1. Is it true that special services responsible for receiving trademark applications (Ministry of Development and Economy, European Union Intellectual Property Office – EUIPO) delay the registration of trademarks with the words “Macedonia”, “Macedonian” or its derivative, as rumored to be true in the neighboring country?

This reputation is not true. The procedures in Greece and the EU have not been modified, and the vesting schedules are followed as for all applications. In any case, any delay will only theoretically delay the right to use the trademark and not the starting point of protection, as once the registration is complete – even late – the protection period will start retrospectively from the date of filing the application. The principle of time priority is not removed anymore.

  1. What steps should be taken by the Greek entrepreneur who wishes to guarantee his/her trademark, which contains the word “Macedonia” or its derivatives?

Anyone claiming a right should immediately file an application for the trademark registration, as patents are based on the principle of time priority of applications. At a protection’s width level, it is preferable to have a European registration – patent, as an application can be marketed throughout the EU, as opposed to the national protection that provides protection only within the Greek borders. Also, at a cost level, the European guarantee is more advantageous. The cost of pledging is calculated based on the number of classes (product/ service categories) to which each trademark corresponds.

Additionally, companies which export their products to the neighboring country – and in any other country is not a member of the EU, should file a registration application through the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO).

  1. Are the Greek trademarks at risk from lawsuits on behalf of the neighboring country’s operators on the ground that in the first case the trademarks relate to a region of a State while in the second case they relate to a State?

The neighboring country’s entrepreneurs cannot prevent the use of trademark in the Greek territory as long as: (a) they do not sell their own similar product in the Greek Market, (b) even if their own similar product is sold in the Greek market, they have registered this right after the Greek right holder of the Greek trademark (principle of time priority).

The International Committee of Experts which will be set up in 2019 must preserve and safeguard the above – mentioned international rules on the protection of trademarks in such a way that no unfavorable exceptions are introduced violating the national and European rules for the Greek entrepreneurs.

ATTENTION: As soon as it joins the EU it means that the entrepreneur in that country will have, just like the Greek one, the right to register his/ her trademark across the EU, including Greece, and hence, its trademark will also be protected in Greece, even if the product is only sold and traded only in his/her country.

Therefore, it may prohibit the use of any similar brand – and hence the circulation of the product to which it corresponds – to Greece. That is why it is very important for Greek entrepreneurs to proceed immediately with the registration of their trademarks so that they can guarantee their rights in Greece and the EU in time and so that no one can ban their branding and circulation of their products in Greece and the EU.

 

What is changing in the Criminal Code? How will the work of justice accelerate? What is to be in force with the trademarks?

By | News

What is changing in the Criminal Code? How will the work of justice accelerate? What is to be in force with the trademarks?

The most important changes brought about the new legislation in the Criminal Code of the country are cited by the founder and co-owner of the Rhetor Law Firm, Mr. Andreas Papamimikos, who also positively welcomes the upcoming reform of the Criminal Code.

In an interview at Voria.gr Mr. Papamimikos underlines that long delays in the administration of justice and law enforcement consist an important inhibiting factor in attracting investment and presents his proposal in order to speed up the work of the judiciary.

Lastly, he makes a special reference to the issue of Macedonian trademarks, explaining precisely the validity and inviting the Greek businessmen to proceed immediately to the registrations – copyrights in order to ensure the use of their trademark and the circulation of their products in Greece and the European Union.

 

What is your view of the great upcoming reform of the Criminal Law of our country?

Firstly, if I have to place myself in the first place entirely according to my point, I believe that the reform has a positive sign. The committee, which started its work under the late John Manoledakis, composed of established members of the legal world, make a considerable and time-consuming effort in order to bring our criminal law into line with the needs and the concerns of our time.

There are some provisions that have caused a lot of controversy and talking, but the worst of all is when we the issue concerns planning, we cannot judge something which has a final form that we will not be able to know until it is voted by the General Assembly of the Parliament.

 

What kind of changes do you consider most important?

Very briefly, I believe that it is moving towards the right direction: a) the abolition of Law 1608/1950 for the abusers of public money, since the punishment of a property crime with the same punishment that manslaughter with intention is punished on an international level is clearly disproportionate; b) the elimination of wrongdoing and the punishment of specific offenses only at the administrative level, as the reality showed that the criminalization of specific behaviors did not act as a deterrent; c) the abolition of the institution of the conversion of the penalty into money, which favors the economically well –off and the promotion of the institution of charitable work as a basic way of alternative punishment, which is expected to have better efficiency for the society if only the appropriate infrastructure is taken care of; d) the abolition of one-member Courts of Appeal, as they may have helped in speeding up the administration of justice; however, this can be achieved on the one hand by better “filtering” of the cases at the stage of pre-trial, and on the other hand allowing to one person only, even with the guarantee of the judicial officer to judge the freedom of another person, has many possibilities of error that even if it is eventually healed in the end, it will have stigmatized him/her for his/her whole life.

 

Your law firm supports businessmen and traders. What is the opinion you have concerning the investments in Greece and the possibility of attracting new investments?

Greece could have much higher growth rates if there was a somewhat “friendlier” environment to investors who wish to invest money in the Greek market. A major obstacle in attracting and implementing new investments is the slow administration of justice, even today. Anyone can file an appeal, which can freeze an investment for almost a decade. Anyone can also anonymously file a complaint, which must be filed directly according to Law. However, in practice, this is not generally the case and can also hinder investment until the criminal mechanism has come to a decision.

 

Do you believe that easy access to justice prevents it from being more quickly administered?

I would never imply that any of us should not be entitled to access to justice. Such an opinion opposes my beliefs. However, these complaints must be filtered quickly, carefully and fairly. Neither do I think that the judges are responsible for delaying the assignment of their work, as they are charged with much work with all the files and they are also under pressure to be efficient. This is not the point of justice. The judge must be able to devote himself/herself to his/her spiritual work undistracted. For this reason, it should be supported by a greater number of judicial officers, to be given more and modern technological means, in order to reduce judicial bureaucracy, to spend much more money from the state budget on justice, which is clearly underfunded in relation to the European average and to promote even more alternative ways of resolving disputes such as arbitration and mediation.

 

After the Prespes agreement, do you think there are risks for Greek businessmen who produce products by using the words Macedonia, Macedonian etc.?

The Prespes agreement has not affected the principle of time – priority in the field of trademark law. The neighboring country’s entrepreneurs cannot prevent the use of a trademark on Greek territory if they: a) do not sell their own product in the Greek market; b) Even if their similar product is sold in the Greek market, they have their right fortified only after the Greek beneficiary who uses the registered Greek and European trademark. As soon as the neighboring country presumably joins the EU, the entrepreneur in the other country will be as able as the Greek one to register his/her trademark across the EU including Greece, and hence his/her trademark will also be protected within his/ her country. Consequently, it may be prohibited to use any similar trademark – and hence the circulation of the product to which it corresponds – to Greece. That is why it is very important for Greek entrepreneurs to proceed immediately with the registration of their trademarks so that they can guarantee their rights in Greece and the EU in time and so that no one could ever forbid the use of their trademark and the circulation of their products in Greece and the EU.

 

vivi pitsari

Declaration of Real Property in Greece (By Vivi Pitsari)

By | News, SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

The Hellenic Cadastre records properties with absolute transparency and security and secures ownership of the real property of every citizen in Greece.  

Cadastral surveys document the boundaries of land ownership by the production of documents, diagrams, sketches, and plans that indicate location, shape, boundaries, etc.  

The cadastral survey requires those who have real estate rights in the cadastral areas of Greek territory to submit a declaration of ownership of their properties to the specific Cadastral Office of the area where the properties are located. 

The submission of the declaration of the property is mandatory and constitutes a prerequisite for any legal act concerning the property in the future (e.g. parental benefit, donation or transfer, issuing a building license in Greece).  

In the case that a property is not declared by the owner within the deadline of the cadastral survey, it will be recorded in the National Cadastre database as “UNKNOWN OWNER”. Consequently, the owners will have to turn to the courts in order to claim their properties.  

WHO MUST SUBMIT A DECLARATION? 

All persons or legal entities who have real estate or other registered property rights in Greece, such as ownership (full or limited ownership), usufructprenotification, or other real property encumbrance are required to submit a declaration of their right to the National Cadastre.  

If there are co-owners in a property, everyone must submit a separate declaration (e.g. limited ownership and usufruct of a property). 

HOW TO SUBMIT A DECLARATION 

The declaration can be submitted either to the specific Cadastral Survey Office in person, by proxy, or on-line at www.ktimatologio.gr. 

The deadline for submitting declarations is three (3) months for residents in Greece and six (6) months for non-residents in Greece. After the expiry of this deadline, the declaration is OVERDUE and an extra fine may be imposed depending on the value and the type of the properties. 

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS 

  • Title of property’s acquisition (notary documents, court decisions, administrative acts, inheritance documents).
  • Certificate of registration in the Land Registry.
  • Copy of identification card or passport.
  • Document with the Tax ID Number of the declarer (e.g. revenue statement or E9 or power bill etc.)
  • Exact location of the property (topographic document)

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS IN CASE OF ACQUISITION OF A RIGHT BY: 

Inheritance: Any right acquired by inheritance may be declared irrespectively of whether or not an inheritance has been received or a certificate of inheritance has been issued. 

The existence or non-existence of a will is decisive. In case of a will, the following documents must be submitted: a) title of the inheritor (if any), b) death certificate, c) a copy of the published will, d) certificate of non-publication of another will, and e) certificate of non-denial of inheritance. 

Where there is no will, the following documents must be submitted: (a) title of the inheritor (if any), (b) death certificate, (c) certificate of relatives, (d) certificate of non-publication of will, and (e) certificate of non-denial of inheritance. 

WAYS OF SUBMITTING A DECLARATION AVAILABLE TO EXPATRIATES 

  1. If the declaration is filled out, signed, and submitted by a third party on behalf of the beneficiary, it will be necessary to have a special authorization with certified signature authenticity which can be provided by the Embassy/Consulate in their country of residence. 
  2. By proxy already authorized with a special or general proxy document to administer their real estate in Greece.  
  3. By a third party with simple authorization. In this case, beneficiaries should dispatch their filled out and signed declaration together with the necessary documents by post. The authorized person must submit the declaration to the competent Cadastral Survey Office. 
  4. For the first time, the declaration can be submitted on-line using a special IT application found on the HELLENIC CADASTRE website www.ktimatologio.gr. In this case, the necessary documents submitted with the declaration will be sent by post to the competent Cadastral Survey Office and the fixed fee is paid by credit card.

Rhetor Law Firm is a Greek Law Firm (Athens & Thessaloniki) specialized in complex legal and property issues in Greece. Find more: www.rhetor.gr

Σημαντική απόφαση για τα καταστήματα υγειονομικού ενδιαφέροντος

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Ιδιαίτερο νομικό ενδιαφέρον για τα καταστήματα υγειονομικού ενδιαφέροντος παρουσιάζει η πρόσφατη υπ’ αρ. 8468/2018 απόφαση του Α’ Τριμελούς Πλημμελειοδικείου Θεσσαλονίκης που δημοσιεύθηκε στο νομικό περιοδικό Ποινικά Χρονικά. Επί της συγκεκριμένης υπόθεσης που χειρίστηκε η εταιρία μας, το δικαστήριο κλήθηκε να αποφανθεί αν στοιχειοθετείται το έγκλημα της μη συμμόρφωσης σε δικαστική απόφαση (άρθρο 232Α ΠΚ), λόγω  παραβίασης των όρων υπό τους οποίους είχε χορηγηθεί αναστολή εκτέλεσης της σφράγισης καταστήματος υγειονομικού ενδιαφέροντος.

 

Ειδικότερα, στην συγκεκριμένη επιχείρηση είχαν επιβληθεί από τον διοικητή του αρμόδιου Αστυνομικού τμήματος διοικητικές κυρώσεις περί σφράγισής της. Η εταιρία δια του συνηγόρου της  αιτήθηκε αρχικά την αναστολή εκτέλεσης των ως άνω αποφάσεων και το Διοικητικό Πρωτοδικείο Θεσσαλονίκης έκανε δεκτές τις αιτήσεις της και ανέστειλε την εκτέλεσή τους υπό όρους. Το Δικαστήριο στο διατακτικό του δεν υποχρέωσε τους κατηγορουμένους σε οποιαδήποτε πράξη ή παράλειψη. Για την στοιχειοθέτηση αντικειμενικά ωστόσο, του αδικήματος του άρθρου 232Α ΠΚ απαιτείται μη συμμόρφωση σε προσωρινή διαταγή δικαστή ή δικαστηρίου ή σε διάταξη απόφασης, με την οποία ο δράστης υποχρεώθηκε σε παράλειψη ή ανοχή πράξης ή σε πράξη που δεν μπορεί να γίνει από τρίτο πρόσωπο και η επιχείρησή της εξαρτάται αποκλειστικά από τη βούλησή του.

 

Όπως ορθά έκρινε το Δικαστήριο, εν προκειμένω, απλώς διατάχθηκε η αναστολή εκτέλεσης αποφάσεων σφράγισης της εν λόγω επιχείρησης υπό τον όρο ότι το κατάστημα θα λειτουργεί σύμφωνα με την ισχύουσα άδεια και τις υγειονομικές διατάξεις. Η διαταγή με το ως άνω  περιεχόμενο δεν συνιστά υποχρέωση συμμόρφωσης σε πράξη, υπό την έννοια του άρθρου 232Α ΠΚ και επομένως με την παραβίαση του ανωτέρω όρου δεν στοιχειοθετείται το έγκλημα της μη συμμόρφωσης σε διάταξη δικαστικής απόφασης.

Με το παραπάνω σκεπτικό, το Τριμελές Πλημμελειοδικείο Θεσσαλονίκης κήρυξε τους κατηγορουμένους αθώους. Συμπερασματικά, μόνον θετικά μπορεί να δει κανείς την συγκεκριμένη απόφαση, η οποία οριοθετεί ερμηνευτικά την έννοια των δικαστικών αποφάσεων, διατάξεων ή προσωρι­νών διαταγών που υπάγονται στο άρθρο 232Α ΠΚ.

 

Η εν λόγω απόφαση έχει δημοσιευθεί στο νομικό περιοδικό Ποινικά Χρονικά του τεύχους Ιανουαρίου 2019, σελ. 61. Δείτε περισσότερα εδώ: https://www.sakkoulas.com/pinika-chronika/trplimthes-84682018/

Everything you need to know about Golden Visa in Greece

By | News

Permanent residence permission (property owners),also  known as golden visa, already counts five years of life and is undoubtedly one of the most famous programs in Greece. Having started in 2013 with law 4146/2013 and now with the Laws 2451/2014 and 4332/2015, it is a pole of attraction for many foreign investors, who want to get an entry permission in Greece and thus to the European Union with a fast and relatively cheap way.

However, until today, according to statistics , people who are interested in buying, , do not overcome the number of 3,000 in total and this is due not only to the fact that opening a bank account is difficult, because of capital controls, but also to the bureaucracy that prevents them. Therefore it is of great importance for them to contact a qualified lawyer in order to facilitate the implementation of the necessary process.

Analyzing the legal status of property owners, according to Article 20 of Law 4251/2014 permanent residence permission is given to third-country nationals who have legally entered the country and own fully immovable property in Greece with a total value of 250,000 euros, in order that certain conditions are met by law.

Thus, by purchasing one or more properties in the Greek territory with a total market value of at least 250,000 Euros, third-country nationals can obtain a permanent residence permission for five years with the possibility of renewal for an equal period of time if the real estate remains in the buyer’s ownership and prerogative. The price is paid through a crossed check or through bank wire deposit on the beneficiary’s account held at a banking institution in Greece. The resale of immovable property during the period of validity of the residence permission to another third country national, entitles the new buyer to obtain a residence permission while withdraws the vendor’s residence permission.

Other ways of getting the permanent residence permission are either by making a time-sharing contract  ,with at least 10 years duration of Law 1652/1986, or by having rentable hotel accommodations or furnished tourist dwellings in complicated tourist locations  with at least 10 years duration under Article 8 (2) of Law 4002/2011 may be concluded.

The above foreign investors may be accompanied by members of their family who, according to the law, may be: (a) the other spouse or partners with whom a third-country national has a civil partnership  in Greece; (b) unwed children of spouses or partners who are under the age of 21, (c) the parents-in-law of the spouses or of the partners.

It should be clarified that this type of residence permission does not establish the right of access to any type of work as defined in Article 36A, paragraph 3 of Law 3386/2005. An exception is the pursuit of economic activity in Greece as a shareholder, managing director and partner or manager in capital companies (SA, LLC, PCC).

The procedure to be followed by a third-country national to obtain this authorization is initially to apply for a D or C entry visa, depending on the case and the stage of the sale of the property, by submitting the relevant supporting documents, as described in GMD 68019/2015 (GD B’2272). After completing the entry visa procedure he / she can enter Greece and apply for a residence permission  to a post office of the competent department of the Decentralized Administration of his / her place of residence, submitting the necessary documents each time depending on whether the property is purchased or hired.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that holders of this type of residence permission have the option, to go to the long-term resident status and to receive Greek nationality, if they prove that they meet all the requirements of the applicable legislation.

More about Golden Visa in Greece

Read here

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