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News 10 Jul 13

Balkan People Pessimistic on Corruption, Survey Shows

People in the Balkans believe their public institutions are increasingly prone to bribery, Transparency International’s 2013 Global Corruption Barometer reveals.

Besar Likmeta

According to the survey published by the Berlin-based watchdog, the perception level of corruption has worsened in most Balkan countries, with only Serbia registering progress and Croatia and Bulgaria staying at the same level.

Survey data suggest that the judiciary, medical and health services, parliament and political parties are perceived as some of the most corrupt public institutions in the region.  

The barometer is the world’s largest public opinion survey on corruption, with 114,000 people interviewed in 107 countries.

The survey found that, on the global scale, corruption remains widespread, with 27 per cent of all respondents reporting having paid a bribe to access public services and institutions in the last 12 months, revealing no improvement from previous surveys.

“Bribe-paying levels remain very high worldwide, but people believe they have the power to stop corruption and the number of those willing to combat the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery is significant," Huguette Labelle, the Chair of Transparency International, said.

“Governments need to take this cry against corruption from their citizenry seriously and respond with concrete action to elevate transparency and accountability,” she added.

Nearly one in two respondents in Kosovo believe that corruption increased significantly over the past two years. Roughly 43 per cent of Romanians and 40 per cent of Albanians saw corruption steeply increasing.

Respondents in Bosnia and Herzegovina also say corruption has worsened, with 34 per cent of people saying that it had increased a lot, and 31 per cent saying that it has slightly increased.

In Macedonia, 41 per cent of people surveyed saw corruption as increasing, while 29 per cent believe that it has stayed the same.

Nearly half of Bulgarians and Croatian surveyed also believe that the war against corruption has been fruitless, staying at the same level as two years ago.  

Serbia was the only country in the region where people see signs of progress in the fight against corruption, with 55 per cent of Serbs believing things are better than they were two years ago, and 34 per cent responding that it has decreased a lot.

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