Greeks unmoved by anti-graft drive

Six in 10 Greeks believe that the government is not taking effective action to tackle deeply rooted and widespread corruption, according to Transparency International, which published the results of its annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI) yesterday on the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day. The study by TI also revealed that a significant majority of Greeks (82 percent) are willing to contribute to the fight against corruption though it does not clarify what form of participation the respondents have in mind. According to the survey, Greeks – like their counterparts in most other European Union countries – perceive political parties to be the most corrupt national institution, followed by Parliament, the media, the civil service, the judiciary, the police, the private sector, the Orthodox Church and the state education sector. The armed forces are at the bottom of the list, perceived as the least corrupt of Greece’s institutions. Concluding that one of Greece’s biggest problems is nontransparency in the handling of political parties’ funding, TI’s Athens office issued a list of 58 proposals for changing the current system. The proposals foresee legislative reforms that would change the way parties operate and other measures to ensure the proper management of party finances. In the CPI, the transparency watchdog noted that poorer citizens and the young are twice as likely to resort to bribery to secure public services than their wealthier and older counterparts. On a global level, the report found that six in 10 people believe that corruption has increased – 73 percent of respondents in the EU and 67 percent in North America. Nevertheless, only 5 percent of those questioned in both the EU and North America admitted to having given bribes to get things done.

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