ATHENS – Corruption in Greece, a chronic problem, has been getting worse under the New Democracy government which vowed to act against it, the country falling eight spots in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2021.
Greece fell from 50th to 58th in rankings showing how relatively clean a country and its government is, with the index rating 180 counries on a relative scale that showed once again that northern European Union states were the least corrupt.
Denmark, Finland and Norway were rated the best as there were indications that the COVID-19 pandemic made the situation worse with corruption over the awarding of government contracts for supplies.
In August, 2020, the site GanIntegrity’s Risk & Compliance Portal said the problem was widespread.
“Corruption severely affects Greece’s business environment, distorting market competitiveness. A common form of corruption in Greece is known as ‘fakelaki‘, translating to small envelopes and signifying bribes passed on to officials or other recipients to obtain some form of benefit,” it said.
“Greece’s Penal Code criminalizes several forms of bribery, including passive and active bribery, abuse of office and money laundering. However, ineffective implementation of existing laws has exacerbated corruption in both the higher and lower echelons of government,” it added.
The sectors seen most corrupt were tax inspectors and public procurement contracts with gifts, bribery, and facilitation payments widespread despite existing provisions that criminalize these acts, the site said.