Portugal: Going Underground in Hard Times | Global Issues

The underground economy in Portugal is booming thanks to the steep increases in taxation and prices demanded by a ‘troika’ of international creditors to address the country’s economic crisis.

In May 2011, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Union (EU) and the European Central Bank (ECB) loaned Portugal the equivalent of 103 billion dollars as a financial rescue package.In return, the troika imposed draconian conditions on middle- and lower-income sectors of the population, and headed by the IMF took on a supervisory role over this southern European country’s economy. Sheer survival instinct among those most affected by the austerity measures is driving them further into the parallel economy, which according to recent official figures amounted to 24.8 percent of GDP in 2010. Continue reading…

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