Eurostat, the European Union statistics agency, estimates Slovakia's 'shadow' or 'grey' economy represents 15% of the country's official GDP. Other studies have suggested the figure is as high as 17%.
Illegal labour is thought to be widespread in the business sector. Many employers and employment experts point to generous unemployment benefits, a relatively high minimum wage and high employer taxes as reasons for a burgeoning shadow economy.
The same agency also puts health sector bribes at Sk12 billion ($248 million) a year, or about $46 for each Slovak resident.
The EU warned in a recently released annual report on the country that corruption was widespread in many sectors and urged the government to take more steps to combat graft and increase transparency.
26. Nov 2001 at 0:00 | From press reports of TASR and SITA