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New research by the watchdog organisation Transparency International shows that perceptions of corruption as a major problem in society vary widely in the Balkans.
Bribe rates in Europe and Central Asia according to the report. Photo: Transparency International
People in Balkan countries see corruption as one of the key problems in society, often view politicians as corrupt as well, and in many cases do not believe their governments are tackling the issue, a new survey by the watchdog organisation Transparency International shows.
Among countries surveyed in the Balkans, 65 per cent of people questioned in Kosovo listed corruption as one of three big problems governments should address, just behind Moldova and Spain, where the same was felt by 67 and 66 per cent of respondents respectively.
In Bosnia, 55 per cent of questioned people saw corruption as one of the key problems governments should address. In Croatia, the figure was 51 per cent and in Romania, 49 per cent. Only 24 per cent of people questioned in Greece saw corruption as one of the key problems.
The report, entitled “People and Corruption: Europe and Central Asia”, conducted on the basis of the poll, which involved 60,000 citizens in 42 countries responding to 14 questions, aims to show peoples’ perceptions of corruption in everyday life, their contact with it and their thoughts on how governments should deal with the issue.
According to the report, 82 per cent of those questioned in Bosnia think their government handles the fight against corruption “very badly” or “fairly badly”, while 69 per cent of people in Kosovo think the same of their government, followed by Greece with 59 per cent and Croatia with 57 per cent.
Balkan countries in which people believe their governments are tackling corruption “fairly well” and “very well” are Albania, where 40 per cent held this view, Serbia, with 28 per cent, and Romania, with 27 per cent.
Balkan citizens also see corruption in political institutions. Once again Bosnia topped the list, with 54 per cent of those questioned saying they think “all” or “most” people in the prime minister’s and president’s office are corrupt.
Bosnia was followed by Kosovo, where 40 per cent believe the same and Albania, where the figure was 36 per cent. In Serbia, 17 per cent of those questioned believe “none” of the officials in the above mentioned offices are corrupt.
Governments as whole also were seen as corrupt by 56 per cent of people in Bosnia, by 47 per cent of respondents in Romania, by 46 per cent in Kosovo and by 45 per cent in Albania. On the other hand, only 20 per cent of people in Montenegro see their government officials as corrupt.
Other institutions are seen as partly corrupt, while a considerable number of people note corruption in the business sector as well.
People were also questioned about whether they or their family members had paid bribes to use public services. In Albania, 34 per cent of those questioned admitted having bribed public servants, followed by 29 per cent of people in Romania and 27 per cent of people in Bosnia.
Furthermore, 59 per cent of people in Croatia think it is not socially acceptable to report corruption, followed by 57 per cent of people in Bulgaria and 55 per cent of people in Bosnia.