Shadow economy has shrunk in Lithuania, but risks remain – finmin

  • 2020-05-25
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The scale of shadow economy in Lithuania has decreased impressively over the past several years, Finance Minister has said attributing this progress to increased public consciousness.

However, Vilius Sapoka also warned that the coronavirus crisis implied that the shadow economy might start growing again.

“No-one looking at the past several years should now have any doubts that the shadow economy in Lithuania has been contracting at a rapid pace. I won’t brag, that’s not my personal achievement – that is the achievement of people from all over Lithuania and we should be proud of that. The shadow economy has contracted by more than 10 percentage points over several years. I think that’s an impressive result,” Sapoka said at a conference on Monday.

Even though the country was now hit by a shock and a pandemic, it was obvious that honest payment of taxes helped the country, its business and people, he said adding that the shadow economy would hopefully not grow back to its previous scale after the crisis.

However, Swedbank Lithuania CEO Dovile Grigiene was more reserved about Lithuania’s achievements in fight against the shadow economy.

“I don’t see that bright picture since the shadow economy is a very pressing problem for Lithuania,” she said at the conference.