15 percent of GDP in black economy: SPD chief

21st April 2005, Comments 0 comments

21 April 2005, BERLIN - The leader of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats said on Thursday that up to 15 percent of Germany's total gross domestic product was being earned in the shadow economy of cash transactions where no taxes are paid.

21 April 2005

BERLIN - The leader of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats said on Thursday that up to 15 percent of Germany's total gross domestic product was being earned in the shadow economy of cash transactions where no taxes are paid.

The Social Democrats chairman Franz Muentefering told parliament this amounted to at least EUR 250 billion a year.

Muentefering repeated his recent criticism of German big business which he earlier this month slammed as acting like "locusts" for approving big pay rises for bosses while cutting jobs.

"They are market radical and anti-social," said Muentefering who was, however, careful to add that a majority of German companies took their social responsibilities seriously.

With Germany stuck at near record 12.5 percent unemployment and the economy slowing, Schroeder's SPD is trailing in opinion polls in the run-up to a key 22 May election in the state of North Rhine- Westphalia.

Muentefering's recent criticism of capitalism and big business are widely considered a bid to motivate rank-and-file SPD left-wingers for election day.

Guido Westerwelle, the leader of the opposition Free Democrats (FDP), warned that the government's harsh words aimed at business would scare away much-needed investment.

DPA

Subject: German news

0 Comments To This Article