Case of Greece highlights how success of reform measures hinges on fight against corruption
Transparency International (TI) calls on finance ministers from the Group of 20 leading economies (G20), meeting Friday, 23 September, around the IMF/World Bank Annual meetings, to make good their anti-corruption commitments as part of their efforts to encourage economic recovery.
TI stressed that the impact of corruption on the stability of the international financial system and on the prospects for economic growth needs to be fully recognised by the finance ministers and central bank governors at the Washington meetings. Greece is, for example, at centre stage today and, as TI-Greece has underscored, the ability of the Government to succeed in its programmes to secure major increases in tax collection and other budget measures will depend significantly on its ability to curb corruption.
In a letter to the G20 Anti-Corruption working group, signed by over 300 civil society groups, including Global Witness, the UNCAC Coalition and ONE, Transparency International said that the Arab Spring and Greek debt crisis underline the destabilising impact corruption can have, through for example bribery of foreign officials, tax evasion and money laundering.
The letter calls on the G20 to meet its commitments by:
- Enforcing laws criminalising foreign bribery and prohibiting off-book accounts by 1st January 2012,
- Agreeing on a common set of rules for dealing with stolen assets, making it easier for countries to see funds stolen from their country and stashed abroad frozen and returned.
- Carrying out a detailed review of measures taken to prevent money laundering, and creating mandatory national registers that disclose the beneficial ownership of companies and the beneficiary of trusts to investigators.
The letter welcomed progress in the G20’s anti-corruption action plan, announced at the G20 Seoul Summit in November 2010. In 2011, new laws criminalising bribery of foreign officials have come into force in the UK, China and Russia, while India became the 17th G20 member to ratify the UN Convention against Corruption in May.
Transparency International is the civil society organisation leading the global fight against corruption.
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