OPINION

A state of corruption?

No one is surprised that our country regularly comes top of the annual «corruption list» of developed countries compiled by the non-governmental organization Transparency International. But when asked to name our country’s three biggest problems (in a survey conducted last December by pollsters MRB) only 2.8 percent of us mentioned «transparency and corruption.» At the same time, the ratings for televised debates featuring alleged extortionists – a perfect mix of politics, media, the Church and the business world – have skyrocketed. And we all have to suppress a snigger when Prime Minister Costas Simitis dismisses talk of budget overruns in public works as «ludicrous.» No one really expects any concrete or serious conclusions from the debates that have abounded since the exposure of the extensively tangled political and business worlds. It is not only in Greece, where the public administration sector, business world and political sphere offer ample opportunities to make easy money. MRB’s report also targets the major countries which feed our economy. The attempt by certain governmental and business circles to distance themselves from the pollution of public life – provoked by widespread and deep-rooted corruption – is easily understood. Without being able to distinguish its constituent parts, this vague «alliance» aims to limit the damage created when politics becomes ensnared in the tentacles of corruption.