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People's Daily Online>>China Business

'Chinese backyard' of Italy about to go bust (3)

By Xu Tianran (Global Times)

10:46, November 23, 2011

Debt crisis and crackdown

However, with the aggravation of the debt crisis, the purchasing power of clients in Europe has declined significantly. Local authorities began raiding more workshops and garment companies, imposing heavy fines on those who violate regulations.

"Of course we have problems. Chinese kids of rich business owners drove fancy cars in town, most Chinese companies avoided tax and employed Chinese workers without working permits. But these problems have existed for a long time. It is the debt crisis that drove the local government to take more aggressive measures," Chen said.

On June 21, a total of 500 local police officers raided 70 Chinese-owned businesses and seized assets worth 25 million euros. More than 390 bank accounts, 183 vehicles and 76 properties were seized in the operation.

"Chinese companies operating in Prato and in Florence were accumulating large amounts of cash thanks to black market sales often using counterfeit goods and illegal labor," the police said in a statement.

Business owners sent their cash back to China through money transfer agencies in dozens or even hundreds of tranches of 1,999 euros each, under the legal limit per payment of 2,000 euros, according to the police.

It is estimated that between 2007 and 2009, 238 million euros of undeclared earnings were sent to China in this manner.

The security situation also worsened during the crisis. "A Spanish garment trader was robbed and seriously beaten up last month. Now no one dares to go out alone in the evening," Chen said, adding that there has been a particular high number of crimes this year. According to local Chinese press, the frequency of robberies and thefts had reached 10 a day at the beginning of November.

【1】 【2】 【3】 【4】


 
 
 
 
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