The Brookings Institute has released a new piece of research that basically blames Greece’s entire financial crisis on corruption.They examined 40 different countries for correlations between levels of corruption and budget deficit and found the following:
“If Greece had better control of corruption—not to Swedish standards, but even at Spain’s level—it would have had a smaller budget deficit by 4% of gross domestic product,” on average over the past five years, says Daniel Kaufmann, senior fellow at Brookings and the study’s author.
The Wall Street Journal pulls this rather startling quote:
The core of the problem is that we don’t have a culture of civic society,” says Stavros Katsios, a professor at Greece’s Ionian University who specialises in economic crime. “In Greece, complying with the rules is a matter of dishonor. They call you stupid if you follow the rules.”
Last year, 13.5% of Greek households paid a bribe, €1,355 on average, according to a Transparency survey published last month. Ordinary citizens hand out cash-filled envelopes to get driver’s licenses, doctor’s appointments and building permits, or to reduce their tax bills, according to the organisation’s Greek chapter.
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