Society

Survey Says! Cypriots Believe Country Corrupt, Getting Worse

NICOSIA – Unable to shake its reputation as a tax haven for tax cheats and having sold residency permits to rich foreign criminals, corruption is so bad on the island that 94 percent of respondents in a survey said it’s everywhere.

The poll by the European Union’s Eurobarometer found that only Greeks, at 98 percent, felt corruption was an unstoppable phenomenon despite pledges by successive governments to stop it but failing.

On Cyprus, said The Cyprus Mail, respondents said politicians are the most corrupt, but keep electing them, followed by the health care system being especially susceptible to an abuse of power.

The EU average is 67 percent across the 27-country bloc but despite the result it was 1 percent lower than in 2019, but 66 percent said they think corruption under President Nicos Anastasiades’ government got worse in the last three years.

Some 70 percent said they believed politicians take bribes and use their positions for personal gain, not the common good, the survey coming as the country has put in place an anti-corruption commission with diluted powers.

Next was the health care system with 60 percent, officials awarding public tenders (58 percent) and building permits at 57 percent.

Next in line were politicians at Some 92 percent of Cypriot respondents said there is corruption in national public institutions, a rise of 3 percent over the 2019 survey, above the EU average of 74 percent.

Local and regional public institutions also fared poorly with 87 percent saying there is corruption but 25 percent of people said bribery was okay with them to get public service, 23 percent said doing a favor was okay and 19 percent said paying a civil servant to get something done was acceptable to them.

And 57 percent said they were personally affected by corruption in their daily lives — more than twice the EU  average of 24 percent and a towering 93 percent said links between business and politics.

That essentially matched the 92 percent who said corruption was part of the country’s business culture and 86 percent said the only way to succed in business was to have political connections, inferring more corruption.

More than half, 53 percent, said it would be pointless to report corruption because no one would be held responsible or punished, indicating an air of impunity with the corrupt being protected.

 

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