Economy among the grayest in Europe, but taxes won’t go down

Economy among the grayest in Europe, but taxes won’t go down

Greece has the fourth largest illegal economy rate in the European Union, according to data presented at Thursday's 14th Athens Tax Forum, organized by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce.

Since the outbreak of the crisis in 2009 the extent of the so-called gray economy as a ratio of the gross domestic product has gone down in the EU from 19.2 percent to 16.7 percent, but in Greece it soared from 23.2 percent to 28.4 percent in 2012, before slipping to 26.5 percent in 2015.

Ranking fourth in illegal economy rate in the bloc is hardly a surprise given that in 2016 Greece had the sixth highest average tax burden on a four-member household, amounting to 38.2 percent of its income, compared to an average 28.6 percent among the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Still, the forum heard the Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister, Dimitris Liakos say there is no scope for a reduction to taxation and social security contributions. He did admit, however, that changes are needed as there are certain distortions, noting that from 2020-2021 there will be a scope of 3.5 billion euros for that purpose.

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