More than 29% of the Canaries’ GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is composed of black money, effectively the equal of Greece, the worst country in Europe in this respect, with a black economy of 30%. There is one other region in Spain that is worse, it has to be said, with La Rioja at 31%.
The figures, moreover, keep rising, and even in 2009 amounted to an incredible 11.6 billion Euros, 4 billion Euros more, for example, than the total annual budget of the Gobierno de Canarias. The increase is fuelled, it appears, by record unemployment, with both employees and employers keeping below the fiscal radar with cash becoming king. The consequences are not comforting, with workers without contracts and, by extension, without social security contributions or employment rights. The worst abuses, in individual employment terms, appear to be hotels, shops and the construction industry.
On a larger scale, there is a huge loss of revenue for public administrations, which are getting poorer by the day. To put it into context, if only 10% of the black money in circulation was legal, public authorities would find their finances increased by more than 1.5 billion Euros, which is more than the cuts the regional executive will have to make this and next year by national order. The Canarias is almost 6% above the national average for black money as percentage of GDP, followed by Castilla La Mancha (26,5%), Galicia (26,3%) and Aragón (25,5%). LO