Euro Crisis

As European Economies Sputter, Shadow Activity Grows

Workers and entrepreneurs ignore useless state rules and taxes


Jusuf Ahmic lives in the Bosnian city of Tuzla.

For a little over 5 dollars a meter, he lays bathroom tiles. But he only gets work when a plumber friend sometimes calls for help.

In these hard times, he can't afford the cost of registering a business. The idea of paying anything to the state, when he can barely feed his family, makes him roll his eyes.

"This state is useless; it just takes and gives nothing back," he says. "There is no incentive [for small businessmen], so I will carry on [unregistered]. If they catch me, what can I do? I can't change the situation I'm in."