Every fifth household in Slovakia confessed to having offered bribes to public institutions at least once per year, with the most illegal payments occurring in the health-care sector, public offices and the police. This number is the third highest in the European Union, in which only one tenth of respondents admitted to paying bribes, according to the results of the 2013 Global Corruption Barometer published by the Transparency International (TI), carried out among 100,000 respondents from 107 countries.
Another finding shows that it is poor people, and especially seniors, who offer bribes most often. People with higher incomes offer bribes at tax offices and when dealing with documents regarding property. The middle class offers illegal payments to police and at courts, the Transparency International Slovensko (TIS) reported on its website on July 9.
Though up to two thirds of Slovaks believe ordinary people might also help the country to combat corruption, compared to other countries they are less willing to take specific steps toward that end.
“Only one half of Slovaks were willing to report corruption, which is the 16th worst result of 107 surveyed countries,” the TIS website reports. The only EU member states reporting worse results than Slovakia were Hungary and Latvia.
Moreover, the survey showed that almost 40 percent of respondents would attend a peaceful demonstration against corruption, while only one quarter would join an anti-corruption organisation and one fifth would be willing to pay more for the products of companies which are not involved in corruption.
“The passivity of inhabitants rises steeply with the age, and falls mildly with the income of the respondents,” TI survey showed.
The survey also showed that 40 percent of Slovaks are afraid to report corruption because of the consequences, while 37 percent think that reporting it would have no impact. Up to 22 percent of respondents do not know where to report the corruption, which is the second worst result in the EU.
Moreover, 63 percent of Slovak respondents say that the government’s anti-corruption measures are ineffective. A similar number of people assume that the government is influenced by private interests. The most corrupt institution is the judiciary, followed by public officials and clerks and political parties, TIS reported on its website.
Source: TIS website
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
10. Jul 2013 at 10:00