The nations of the European Union, according to a recent report, are corrupt to a “breathtaking” degree. The report reveals that these nations are losing more than $162 billion a year to bribery and other forms of malfeasance. An investigation, conducted by the office of EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem, found that 73 percent of Europeans believe that bribery or the use of political connections are the best ways to access government services.
In some countries nearly a third of those surveyed reported having personally paid bribes to government officials. That is shocking and apparently recognized as a way of political life in many countries. Residents of Croatia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece reported most often having paid bribes. Interestingly, the majority of bribes paid in those countries were paid to obtain health care. In Greece, 99 percent of survey respondents said they believe their country to be “very corrupt.” The lowest rates of bribery and corruption were reported in the United Kingdom, Denmark and Finland. Less than one percent of respondents in the UK said they have personally paid bribes to government officials.
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