Debt crisis reduces graft in Greece
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 6:28AM
Richard L. Cassin in Benin, Colombia, Costas Bakouris, Djibouti, European Union, Greece, Greek Reporter, India, Moldova, Mongolia, Senegal, Transparency International

Harsh austerity measures imposed by the Greek government on orders from international lenders have left people too poor to bribe corrupt officials, according to a survey commissioned for Transparency International’s office in Athens.

'Cash- strapped Greeks affected by austerity measures helped reduce the amount paid,' the Greek Reporter said.

After three years of recession, incomes in Greece are down by as much as 60 percent, suicides are up by 40 percent, and 1.3 million people are standing in unemployment lines, the Washington Post reported.

Greece is the most corrupt country in the Euro Zone. It ranks 94 on the Corruption Perceptions Index, tied with Benin, Colombia, Djibouti, India, Moldova, Mongolia, and Senegal.

Hospitals accounted for 45 percent of bribe demands from the public sector, followed by tax and town planning authorities each at about 13 percent, the Greek Reporter said.

Last year's National Integrity System assessment by TI-Greece found that 98% of Greeks believe corruption is a major problem in their country and 88% think bribery is part of the business culture.

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