Visa: Greek Black Market Costs 43.2 billion euros
With Greece scrapping to find every cent it can during a crushing economic crisis, officials from Visa card estimate the country is losing 43.2 billion euros ($56.6 billion) a year to an underground economy that doesn’t pay taxes and trades in smuggled goods and other ways of avoiding government scrutiny or payment.
According to the credit card company, the loss to the underground economy has risen to 24 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), far above the European average.
The main cause, according to the company, is the use of cash, undeclared work and undeclared sales with Greek tax offices understaffed and without the technical means to go after people who’ve averted payments.
The black market in Europe amounts so some 2.1 trillion euros, about $2.75 billion and is continuing to proliferate with some critics contending that harsh tax policies, along with austerity measures in Greece that’s included big pay cuts and slashed pensions, has forced otherwise ethical people to find ways to get around paying what is due.