Socialist governments grow the underground economy:
MADRID — The government made a plea to banks to keep tighter controls over the flow of EUR 500 notes which are used for money laundering.
EUR 500 notes are known in Spain as 'Bin Ladens' because, like the leader of al-Qaeda, everyone knows they exist, but very few have seen one.
In the first quarter of the year, the number of these purple notes grew 32 percent from the previous year to EUR 101 million.
Now the money-laundering prevention service Sepblanc say they represent 62 percent of all the cash in Spain.
According to the economy ministry, this is due to the rise in undeclared income in thousands of households and by increased criminal activity.