French EcoSoc Council: Bulgaria Has Biggest Grey Economy in Europe
Bulgaria had the biggest grey economy in Europe in 2012, at 31.9% of the GDP, according to a survey of France's Economic and Social Council.
The share of the grey economy was lowest in Austria, at 7.6% of the GDP, followed by Luxembourg with 8.2%, the Netherlands with 9.5%, the United Kingdom with 10.1%, France with 10.8%, Ireland, Germany and Finland with 12.7%, respectively, and 13.3%.
Other countries with similar results to Bulgaria's score were Romania with 29.1%, Lithuania with 28.5%, Estonia with 28.2% and Latvia with 26.1%, and Greece with 23.6%.
The EU average share of the grey economy stood at16.8%.
Experts from France's Economic and Social Council, as cited by the BGNES news agency, believe that the grey economy in EU member states reached 18.9% in 2013, or EUR 2.1 trillion.
According to the report, the main factors which encourage the grey economy are mass unemployment, the economic crisis, poverty, taxes increasing labor costs, and strong competition, which affected the results of the companies.
The authors of the report recommend strengthening control and sanctions as a measure against the grey economy
They also recommend banning the payment of salaries in cash, even when the matter involves small sums of money.
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