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"Nor is free enterprise capitalism a free-for-all. This is not always fully understood in countries which are trying to make the difficult transition from socialism to capitalism. A properly functioning market economy must always be governed by clear rules of competition and there must be effective safeguards for investors. Capitalism cannot, in fact, operate without a strong administration to police the laws that provide its framework. And it cannot succeed without honesty. Racketeers, blackmarketeers and smugglers are not entrepreneurs - they are just plain criminals.  Corruption and gangsterism are scourges which afflict many newly developing economies and states. They should be ruthlessly and fearlessly expunged. Otherwise not just the free market but freedom itself is in peril. " Lady Thatcher, Speech Delivered in Zagreb, Croatia, Sept. 16, 1998

 
Global Financial Integrity and Adriatic Institute Announce Strategic Partnership to Launch New Study on the Balkans’ Illicit Financial Outflows via Crime, Corruption, and Tax Evasion for the Period 1991-2011


The Balkans’ $111.6 Billion in Illicit Financial Outflows (2001-2010) Hemorrhages the Region’s Treasuries and Exposes Western Nations to Financial Risks

July 30, 2013

RIJEKA, Croatia / WASHINGTON, DC – Global Financial Integrity (GFI) and Adriatic Institute for Public Policy (AI) have formed a strategic partnership to launch a new joint study on the Balkans’ illicit financial outflows via crime, corruption and tax evasion for the years 1991 through 2011.  The in-depth study led by the joint leadership team consisting of GFI President Raymond Baker, GFI Chief Economist Dev Kar, AI Chairman Natasha Srdoc and senior staff members will provide detailed reports for each of the Balkan nations covering the 21-year time span. The GFI-AI research will focus on illicit financial outflows for the Balkan nations including Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.

According to GFI’s most recent global study, the Balkans lost over $111.6 billion in illicit financial outflows to crime, corruption, and tax evasion between 2001 and 2010.  The new Balkan study will focus on illicit financial outflows for the years 1991-2011, and it will include Greece, Kosovo, and Slovenia—which were not included in GFI’s most recent global report on illicit financial flows from developing countries, published in December 2012.

“As GFI’s previous research indicates, the Balkans region is losing a tremendous amount of money in illicit financial outflows each year,” said Raymond Baker, President of GFI.  “Illicit capital flight undermines economic development, exacerbates income inequality, fosters corruption, and reduces tax revenues.  Large illicit outflows from Southeastern Europe have serious consequences not just for Sofia and Sarajevo, but for Brussels and Berlin as well.  We are excited to be partnering with the Adriatic Institute to delve more deeply into the topic and give the issue the serious thought and attention it deserves.”

“The Adriatic Institute for Public Policy is pleased to form this strategic partnership with Global Financial Integrity and launch a new study into the Balkans’ illicit financial outflows since 1991,” said Natasha Srdoc, Chairman, Adriatic Institute for Public Policy. “We seek to encourage ongoing efforts to curtail and correct the problems that have led to such massive financial drainages. 
This study is crucial for the sixty-four million citizens in the Balkans who have grown poorer by the day and for Western nations, especially EU member states’ taxpayers, who can significantly reduce their financial exposure in the region.”

The study will present case studies and analyses of money laundering and criminal activities affecting each Balkan country included in the project. These analyses will draw upon individual interviews and literature searches relevant to each country, the study will produce a picture of the realities impacting Balkan countries from illicit financial outflows and inflows, and the report will outline steps that can be taken to curtail such flows.




The outflow of illicit money from developing countries in the Balkans drains hard currency reserves, heightens inflation, reduces tax collection, curtails investment, and undermines free trade. It has its most serious impact on the poor, as funds shift abroad, lost to investment or consumption in such countries. At the same time that illicit financial outflows drain the economy, illicit financial inflows contribute to serious crime, terrorism, and security concerns for scores of nations. Through economic analyses and policy recommendations, GFI and AI seek together to curtail illicit financial flows in order to maximize domestic resources for growth and contribute to national security and political stability in Balkan countries.

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Contact:

Clark Gascoigne
Global Financial Integrity

+1 202 293 0740 x222
cgascoigne@gfintegrity.org

Joel Anand Samy

Adriatic Institute for Public Policy

+1 202 738 1496
AdriaticIPP@aol.com