Bulgaria Tops EU Shadow Economy Ranking

Bulgaria in EU | June 27, 2012, Wednesday // 18:09|  views

Graph from the European Commission

Bulgaria is ranked first in the European Union in terms of the size of its shadow, or gray, economy as a percentage of its GDP, according to a Communication from the European Commission to the EU Council and the European Parliament.

Thus, Bulgaria's gray economy is estimated to be 32.3% of its GDP. Any other EU member state, including the close second and third, Romania and Lithuania, have their shadow economies at below 30% of the GDP, according to EC data.

Only Austria, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands have shadow economies of below 10% of the GDP, the data indicates.

The gray economy percentage of the GDP for the entire EU is 19%, which makes about EUR 2 T annually.

"Tax evasion is not a problem that any member state can tackle alone. Fraud and evasion are pervasive, and they thrive on national mismatches and insular thinking," stated EU Commissioner for taxation, customs union, anti-fraud, audit, and statistics Algirdas Semeta in Brussels on Wednesday.

"Therefore, using our strength as a Union is the best weapon that we have to fight these activities and to reclaim enormous sums of public money for honest EU citizens. For this, there must be more trust, more solidarity and more coordination at EU level," he added.

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Tags: shadow economy, gray economy, EU, European Union, Algirdas Semeta, EU Commissioner


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