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Corruption barometer

One in four people paid a bribe when they accessed a public service in the 12 months prior to when the question was asked, according to an intercontinental survey by an anti-corruption campaign group. More than half, 57 per cent of those surveyed think their government is doing badly in fighting corruption, says Transparency International (TI).

On the bright side, 0pc of UK households reported paying a bribe when accessing basic services; which compared with 1pc in Sweden, 2pc in France, and as high as 34pc in Russia. Romania had the highest rate for an EU member state at 29 per cent, followed by Lithuania with 24 per cent. TI adds that more than half the people around the world – and particularly young people – agreed that citizens could make a difference. Some 58 per cent of people aged 24 and under said they feel empowered to make a difference. Half, 50 per cent of those aged 55 also agreed.

As for which institutions those surveyed felt were most corrupt, the police and elected officials came tied top overall with 36 per cent of people responding they were highly corrupt, more than for any other group or institution asked about. The Middle East and North Africa region had the highest percentage of citizens rating their government as doing a bad job at fighting corruption (68 per cent); then came Sub-Saharan Africa. In Europe and Central Asia (31 per cent) elected representatives were seen as the most corrupt. To give a contrast, in Moldova almost seven in ten people say that people working in these public sector institutions are highly corrupt compared with 6 per cent in Germany. Also in Yemen and Lebanon, people perceived high levels of public sector corruption; and Mexico, India, Liberia and Vietnam, report very high rates of bribery for public services, the campaigners say.

As TI says, ordinary citizens often stand on the front line against corruption; as they face demands for bribes to access public services, such as school entry for their children or life-saving medical care.

To download the report visit the TI website. For the Europe and central Asia report, visit In that region, the governments of Ukraine (86 per cent), Moldova (84 per cent), Bosnia and Herzegovina (82 per cent), and Spain (80 per cent) were judged worst by their citizens. Although few households paid bribes when coming into contact with public services in EU member states, rates were significantly higher further east; the highest rates were in Tajikistan (50 per cent), Moldova (42 per cent), Azerbaijan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Ukraine (38 per cent for each).


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