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Small Bribes Cost Greece EUR800 Mil. A year

Small bribes that Greeks use in their everyday transactions with the public and private sector, the so called ‘fakelakia,’ may drain as much as EUR800 mil. from the real economy, an NGO official said according to
“Corruption is one of the main reasons why we have this economic crisis in Greece. It΄s not the only one, but it΄s a very important one,” Aris Syngros, head of Transparency International΄s office in Greece, said on Thursday during a hearing in the European Parliament, the portal notes.
Syngros presented the results of a survey carried out in the second half of 2009 which puts the cost of day-to-day corruption between EUR717 million and EUR857 million, EUR40 million higher on a yearly basis.
The survey showed that 9.3% households said they were asked to pay a bribe in their transactions with the public sector. The average bribe paid in 2009 for public services was EUR1,355.
5.3% of the people who participated in the survey said they had to pay an average EUR1,671 to the private sector.
Syngros indicated that the study did not include high level corruption cases or big tax evasion schemes.
“Corruption is not something we can΄t see or touch. It΄s real money, drained away from the real economy. Everybody speaks about recovery, growth, jobs, but without fighting corruption, this won΄t work,” he said.
“So far, the EU was like a spectator in a football match. We need a more active EU, that goes down on the field and is part of developing solutions.”

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