The shadow economy in Greece accounted for an estimated 52.2 billion euros last year, according to a European Commission report published this week.
Greece therefore ranks fourth among the 17 eurozone members in terms of the size of each country?s illegal economy, and ninth in the whole of the 27-member European Union. It is also rock bottom in the collection of value-added tax revenues, according to 2010 data.
The country?s black market amounts to 24.3 percent of its gross domestic product, while Austria is the country with the smallest illegal economy, estimated at just 7.9 percent.
This statistics show that despite the efforts to combat tax evasion, the problem remains as serious as ever in Greece, at a time when the country desperately needs to reduce its illegal economy so as to bolster public revenues and lighten its austerity program.
Meanwhile, along with three other EU states, Greece failed to submit data regarding the cost of its tax collection mechanism.