ECONOMY

Corruption rules OK

One in two Greeks believes that the state is corrupt and a citizen can get nothing done without bribing, according to a country report released yesterday. The survey, conducted by market research institute GfK Praha in 21 countries in the first half of 2006, also says that 55 percent of Greeks take the view that a business in Greece can win no public tender without bribing, while 47 percent fear that if bribing is eradicated the country will come to a near-standstill. Nevertheless, an overwhelming majority of those surveyed (84 percent) consider bribing as immoral, while 22 percent think it is something natural. Furthermore, 68 percent say they have never bribed and want the government to adopt measures against corruption; 75 percent believe it is the government that must win this battle. All the same, 46 percent of Greeks see corruption rising in coming years and 56 percent believe their country today is more corrupt than other European countries. Unnecessary According to the report, most Europeans do not consider corruption as something obvious nor as a normal part of their everyday life. About six out of 10 people who responded to the questionnaire (59 percent) believe either that bribing is not necessary and things can be achieved with a little patience, or that bribing is completely unnecessary. One-third said bribing is completely meaningless. The countries included in the survey were Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Austria, Romania, Russia, Greece, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro, Sweden, Ukraine and the UK. Sweden emerged as the least corrupt country and Ukraine and Russia as the most corrupt.