Varhelyi, Fiscal Amnesty: We favor the formalization of the economy, but not by crossing red lines

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On the Fiscal Amnesty, Commissioner Varhelyi emphasized that the EU supports the formalization of the economy, while noting that critical red lines must be respected if European Union standards are to be adhered to.

“Our colleagues are collaborating with the authorities in Tirana.” According to what we gather, the government believes that a substantial portion of the economy is still working in the informal sector and that it is of the utmost importance for any candidate nation to legitimize the entire industry. Thus, we require steps that will legalize the underground economy. There are numerous ways to accomplish this. One of them is to analyze the assets that are currently outside the formal economy, and we are examining the government’s consideration of these measures. What is crystal clear to us, and what we have discussed with the Prime Minister and his delegation, is that we agree on the objective of transforming the informal economy into a legal one, but we must ensure that any action taken is in accordance with the rules we have in the European Union, as well as with FATF and Moneyval, which ensure that if such actions are taken, they are done in a legally sound manner. We are still investigating many approaches, and I am hopeful that we will find the appropriate technical solutions to take a step toward abolishing and further decreasing the informal economy.

“I believe that there are healthy ways to accomplish this, and we must discover them. There are unquestionably significant red lines that must be observed if our rules and standards are to be adhered to. And we will insist on this, but I believe it is possible, as we have seen examples in the past; nevertheless, it must be done correctly, and we must continue to work on this. These are extremely complex issues, even on a technical level, so we need more time, but I am hopeful that, as in every previous instance, we will always reach an agreement with the Albanian government, ensuring that what is occurring in Tirana is in accordance with our rules and standards, as stated by Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi.