CORRUPTION

95 percent of Spaniards see corruption as institutionalized

“Political will is absent” in battle against graft, notes Brussels report

Ninety-five percent of Spaniards believe corruption is generalized, according to the first continent-wide study on the issue by the European Commission. Only respondents in Greece (99 percent) and Italy (97 percent) outdid Spain. The report, which was presented on Monday in Brussels, underscores the magnitude of the issue in Europe: three out of four EU citizens believe corruption is an institutional problem.

In two areas of the survey Spain topped the charts. Asked if the level of corruption has risen in the past three years, 77 percent said yes, more than in the other 27 member states. Two out of every three respondents said that corruption affected their daily lives, more than in any other nation. The survey was conducted in February and March 2013, when a series of corruption scandals involving the government, labor unions, political parties and the monarchy occupied the front pages in Spain.

Scandinavian countries registered the lowest perception of institutional corruption. In Denmark, 75 percent of people answered that they viewed corruption as exceptional, not the rule, followed by 64 percent in Finland and 54 percent in Sweden.

The report concluded that legal mechanisms in place across the continent to tackle corruption “are not satisfactory,” and that in many cases “political will to eradicate corruption is absent.”

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