Cyprus tops EU view-of-corruption index

All Cypriot businesses surveyed for a new Eurobarometer report believe corruption is widespread, which makes the island the leading EU country in this category, closely followed by Greece and Romania with 96 per cent each.

Just over one in ten businesses in Denmark share this view.

The percentage has gone up to 100 per cent in Cyprus from 84 per cent in 2015, the biggest change in the EU during this time period.

Overall, 38 per cent of EU companies see patronage and nepotism as a problem. There are also significant country-level differences on the issue of patronage and nepotism. As in 2015, the highest proportion of businesses giving this answer is recorded in Romania, where about eight in ten (82 per cent) give this response. In Cyprus, about seven in ten companies mention patronage and nepotism as a problem, and about six in ten companies in Greece do. In contrast, less than one in ten companies in Denmark, the UK and Ireland see this as a problem.

Since 2015, Cyprus has seen the biggest change with an increase of 16 percentage points. While in 2013 only a minority (47 per cent) viewed nepotism as an issue, now nearly three quarters (72 per cent) do.

This is related to other perceptions by the business sector. In Cyprus, 68 per cent say corruption is a problem when conducting business activities while the European average was 37 per cent.

In five EU member states, at least half of businesses say that favouring friends and family members in public institutions is among the most widespread practices. Nearly six in ten of those polled in France and Portugal (59 per cent) believe so while, surprisingly, in Cyprus less than a quarter of respondents do, down 23 percentage points since 2013.

But when it comes to kickbacks nearly eight in ten (79 per cent) regarded it as widespread, an increase of 27 percentage points over the previous survey.

In almost all EU member states, at least half of all companies agree too-close links between business and politics lead to corruption. This view is held by almost all companies in Greece (97 per cent), and over nine in ten of those polled in Cyprus. In 19 EU member states, over three quarters (75 per cent) of companies agree with the statement.

As in the previous survey, companies in Bulgaria and Cyprus, with 87 per cent each, are the most likely to agree bribery and the use of connections is often the easiest way to obtain certain public services in their country.

The Eurobarometer carried out 1,001 personal interviews in Cyprus.

Annette Chrysostomou
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