Transparency International links drop in corruption to crisis

Corruption in Greece’s public and private sectors dipped by 15 percent last year, according to a report carried out by the Greek branch of Transparency International which found that 30 percent of respondents said they refused to deliver under-the-table payments, known as “fakelakia,” when asked for them.

Despite the apparent change in public attitudes toward corruption, which Transparency International attributes to the repercussions of a continuing recession and the state’s efforts to curb graft, some parts of the public sector appeared to remain stubbornly stuck in their ways.

The study found that state hospitals, tax offices and city-planning departments remained the principal venues for cases of corruption.

Reported cases of corruption in hospitals actually increased by 5 percent, bucking the general trend, with some respondents claiming to have paid fakelakia of up to 7,000 euros for surgery at a public hospital.

Although cases of corruption at tax offices and town-planning offices were down, by 1.2 percent and 2.8 percent respectively, fakelakia demanded to cut bureaucracy were as high as 20,000 euros at tax offices and 15,000 euros at town-planning offices, TI found.

The survey also noted that for the first time failure to issue receipts was considered an act of corruption by members of the public.