NEWS

Citizens must also resist the habit of corruption to ensure change

How can the public sector be completely reformed when a VPRC poll published by Kathimerini shows high levels of corruption in the state mechanism? Most citizens have bribed officials to deal with their cases (22 percent in taxation offices, 21 percent in hospitals, 15 percent in town-planning services, and 10 percent in Transport Ministry services). The government’s reform effort starts with the state itself, because a corrupt state inevitably corrupts society. We have instituted much multifaceted legislation to deal with corruption. But no law, no matter how strict, is effective if it is not backed by the practical example of a government that is steadfast on principles and political ethics and an impeccable manager of public money. The Karamanlis government is such an example; it shows zero tolerance to any deviation, no matter what the source. But citizens themselves must change their everyday transactions with the state into resistance to corrupt practices which became a habit in the general moral decline of recent years. The mentality of corruption will only disappear when it is no longer considered naive to try and fight it.