Italy's black economy - including Mafia - worth 13 per cent of GDP

Italy's black economy - including drug and tobacco smuggling, prostitution and other businesses typically run by Mafia groups - is worth about one eighth of its gross domestic product (GDP), official estimates said Friday.

The data from national statistics office Istat covered the period up to 2014.

The agency said undeclared economic activities - mostly connected to tax evasion or illegal work - accounted for the bulk of the estimate, producing about 195 billion euros (215 billion dollars) of economic output.

It is unlcear how much of that figure can be linked to the Mafia, as tax dodging and employing people with no regular contracts is widespread across different sections of Italian society.

Explicitly illegal trades more closely related to organized crime were worth just under 17 billion euros, including 11.6 billion euros derived from drug trafficking and 3.7 per cent from prostitution, Istat estimated.

The proportion of Italian GDP created via undeclared or illicit activities rose during 2011-14 - a period of severe economic crisis - from 12.4 to 13 per cent. In particular, the proportion of people employed irregularly rose from 14.5 to 15.7 per cent.

Following a change in European Union accounting rules applying from 2011, criminal activities have been factored into GDP calculations for the bloc's member states. When Istat adopted the new parameters in 2014, Italy's economy looked notably bigger.

The EU's fourth-largest economy has an endemic problem with organized crime and tax cheating. It is home to at least three major organized groups: Cosa Nostra in Sicily, the Camorra around Naples, and the 'Ndrangheta in Calabria.

Last update: Fri, 14/10/2016 - 16:31
Author: 

More from Europe

French presidential hopeful to meet Merkel, outline plans for Europe

French conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon is set to meet German Chancellor Merkel in Berlin on...

Left-winger and former premier top French primary

Benoit Hamon and Manuel Valls were out in front in France's nationwide primary on Sunday to choose who will be the...

Romanian president joins thousands in anti-government rally

Thousands of Romanians were joined by President Klaus Iohannis in a street protest in Bucharest on Sunday against...

Suspected accomplice detained in Germany in foiled Vienna attack

A 21-year-old man and his wife have been arrested in their home in the western German city of Neuss on suspicion of...

May vows to press Trump on "unacceptable" remarks in Friday meeting

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday vowed to confront US President Donald Trump about any "unacceptable"...