ITALY'S TAX EVASION AMOUNTS TO HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS

12 Jul 2013 11:19
ROME, July 11 (Bernama) - Italian police have recovered less than 70 billion euros (US$91 billion) out of hundreds of billions from tax dodgers in the last 13 years, the economy ministry said Thursday. More than 807 billion euros (over US$1,046 billion) in suspected evasions have been flagged for audits between 2000 and 2012, Xinhua news agency quoted the ministry as saying in a report. The ministry also said some debtors have gone bankrupt due to the current global economic crisis, and many cases have been contested and remain open. The Italian central bank said tax burdens continued to be a major obstacle to recovery in the country, which is in its longest recession in more than 20 years. Last year, tax burdens increased to 44 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), up from 42.6 percent in 2011. Earlier this week, Standard and Poor's downgraded its rating for Italy down to BBB from BBB+ with a negative outlook, showing the situation in eurozone's third largest economy "remains complex," according to Prime Minister Enrico Letta. "Some things are moving, but we are still far from being able to consider this dark economic season over," said head of industrial association Confindustria, Giorgio Squinzi. --BERNAMA EE