A large majority of EU citizens believe corruption is still a major problem in Europe as 74 percent of them said in a Eurobarometer survey released by the European Commission on February 15 that corruption exists at all levels of government, the SITA newswire reported.
Corruption is considered a major problem by 78 percent of those polled in Slovakia, four percent more than the EU average. Twenty-seven percent of Slovaks admitted they had paid a bribe while it was 18 percent in the Czech Republic, 1 percent in the Netherlands, and 31 percent in Romania. Up to 92 percent of Slovak citizens think that corruption exists in national institutions (the EU average is 79 percent) and more than 80 percent of Slovaks considered corruption common at regional and local levels. The Slovaks reported that they think corruption is most extensive among politicians, in the judiciary, and in the police.
Europeans, on average, believe relationships between politicians and businesspeople are the most frequent cause of corruption, reflecting the opinion of 40 percent of the respondents, while the proportion feeling the same in Slovakia was 38 percent, SITA wrote. Forty-six percent of the Slovaks surveyed think that the primary reason for corruption is insufficient action against it.
A majority of Europeans (68 percent) consider financing of political parties to be non-transparent but 82 percent of the Slovaks thought that was the case. On average, 57 percent of the respondents connected corruption with organised crime while 71 percent of the Slovaks thought this was the case. Nearly one-half (47 percent) of the Europeans surveyed think corruption has increased in their countries in the last twelve months and eight percent said they had paid or were asked to pay a bribe last year.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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