Impudence is rewarded, not punished

«In Greece, we are trained in corruption,» said Giorgos Kaminis, head of the Citizens’ Ombudsman. «Not only those in high positions, but ordinary people, too. We who pay our taxes do not enjoy the benefit of a quality education system or medical care because some other people build villas or don’t pay their taxes or generally resort to graft. I am afraid that the lack of regular inspections by the judiciary only makes the problem worse. For example, we have reached the point where even public organizations do not pay their social security contributions. Every three or four years the government settles the debts, which is in fact legalizing the corruption after the fact. Moreover, inspections in the private sector (after the fact, so as to increase the size of kickbacks) often result in excessive fines, since the magnitude of the corruption (e.g. tax evasion) is so great that it creates a further incentive for the wrongdoer to try and grease someone’s palm and avoid paying the greater sum. It is a question of the way the state functions. We should even consider setting up a secret police force to inspect all those services which carry out inspections after the fact.» «When there is corruption, society as a whole cannot progress, only a few people can. Such a society is unjust simply because corruption is not subject to rational rules. Impudence is rewarded.»