SLOVAKIA has the smallest shadow economy of all the EU candidate countries, at 18.3 percent of GDP, according to 2001-2002 figures from the Slovak National Office of Society Development (NSLR). Only the Czech Republic has similar figures, with Estonia and Latvia at almost 40 percent.
There were sharp differences between individual parts of the country. In areas of Bratislava, the informal economy represents as little as 3.7 percent of GDP, whereas in Rimavská Sobota, the proportion is as high as 35.5 percent.
The NSLR suggests that a reorganisation of the social system may help to reduce cash-in-hand work, as unemployment benefits would be linked to previous official income.
28. Apr 2003 at 0:00 | From press reports of TASR and SITA