Petty corruption under crisis
Launch of 2011 National Survey on Corruption in Greece
The public sector still holds the lion’s share of the petty corruption’s pie, as indicated by the increased percentage of households who report corruption incidents in the public sector (7,4% in 2011 versus 7,2% in 2010) compared to the private sector (3,4% in 2011 versus 4% in 2010), according to the 2011 National Survey on Corruption in Greece which was launched today by the Chairman of Transparency International-Greece Mr Costas Bakouris and Chairman and CEO of the opinion polling company Public Issue S.A. Mr Yiannis Mavris.
The financial crisis seems to affect “fakelaki” (little bribery envelopes) as well, given the fact that 2011 Survey records a reduction of the bribe amounts -requested and paid-, which shrinks the overall estimated cost of petty-corruption for the year of 2011, by 78 million euro (554 million euro in 2011 versus 632 million euro in 2010). Nevertheless the amounts spent on petty corruption remain significantly high.
To no one’s surprise, hospitals, tax offices and construction-license bodies still occupy the first places of the public services ranking list in terms of petty corruption. The 2011 corruption pricelist is undergoing a discount period, given that “fakelaki” starts from 100 euro for a medical surgery; it’s also the lowest limit for arrangement of financial records audit. Private Sector also makes special offers, where a substantial reduction of the average amounts of bribes is noted (from €1.623 in 2010, to €1.406 in 2011).
Due to a significant increase in the sample, the 2011 Survey helps draw conclusions regarding the geographical distribution of corruption as well as the individual characteristics of corruption victims. The state’s tax policy –especially the measure of collecting receipts- seems to effectively influence people’s social perception of petty corruption, given that it is the first time and to such an extent that respondents perceive the non issuance of receipts during transactions as a corruption incident. Furthermore, a hopeful message comes from citizen’s engagement, as a significant percentage of the respondents (25,3% for the public sector and 21,6% for the private sector) stated that they refused to pay the requested bribes.
The 2011 Survey illustrates the social profile of the victims of petty corruption (based on the 22,2% of the respondents) : it’s mainly male, between the ages of 45-54 years old, educated, in the region of Attica, under a self-employed or employer status.
“Transparency International – Greece promotes the implementation and protection of whistle-blowing so that citizens can be empowered and effectively participate in the fight against corruption by reporting complaints» said Costas Bakouris.
This is the fifth year (since 2007) that TI-Greece conducts the National Survey on Corruption in Greece, which presents the size of petty corruption that burdens the Greek households. The 2011 Survey occurred in four waves over the period November-December 2011, using a structured questionnaire addressing to a sample of 12.000 people. The data comparative analysis and update assessments significantly contribute to the survey’s credibility and validity, setting it an important scientific tool. The 2011 National Survey on Corruption in Greece was conducted within the framework of the Project "Conduct of an Integrated National Survey on Corruption" that was included in the Operational Program "Administrative Reform 2007-2013" of the NSRF.
The key findings of the 2011 National Survey on Corruption in Greece are posted on the official website of TI-G : www.transparency.gr
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