Transparency survey shows Greeks keen to fight graft but still paying bribes

The overwhelming majority of Greeks (82 percent) want to do their bit to fight corruption in public life but nearly a quarter (23 percent) have made under-the-table payments (“fakelakia”) for medical services and 90 percent believe political parties are the most corrupt, according to Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer, an annual survey of citizens’ perception of graft.

Eighty-two percent of the 1,001 Greeks questioned said they would be prepared to fight corruption by reporting it, though one in four admitted to paying fakelakia for medical treatment.

Political parties were seen as the most corrupt by 90 percent of Greeks, with only the Mexicans and Nepalese making similarly damning assessments and only Nigerians holding their politicians in worse regard. In Greece, the media was close behind politics with 86 percent of respondents regarding it as the most corrupt institution, with 86 percent drawing the same conclusion for Parliament and 73 percent deeming medical services to be the most corrupt. A total of 66 percent deemed the judiciary to be the most corrupt with the same proportion seeing most graft in the civil service.

In a related development, three members of the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) and an accountant were arrested in northern Greece on suspicion of trying to extort money from a local businessman. The three SDOE officials include the 60-year-old head of the squad’s Central Macedonia offices.

The officials allegedly asked for 25,000 euros from the entrepreneur so he could avoid a 100,000-euro fine. They face charges of taking bribes, blackmail, abuse of power, breach of duty and purloining official documents.

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