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Less and cheaper “fakelaki” in Greece: The key results of 2012 National Survey on Corruption in Greece

Petty corruption levels in Greece fell in both public and private sectors in 2012, Transparency International Greece said.

The 2012 National Survey on Corruption in Greece shows a significant reduction in:

  • the amount of bribes in “fakelaki” (little envelopes – a term for petty bribery). At €420 million, the estimated total cost of petty corruption in Greece falls below half a billion euro for the first time since the survey began, compared to €554 million in 2011.
  • the number of corruption incidents reported by Greek households dropped by 1.6% (8.6% for 2012 compared to 10.2% in 2011).

"As a consequence of the financial crisis, Greeks have realized that they can survive even without a "fakelaki". This can be seen as a unique opportunity for total restructuring, since the financial crisis has affected a significant number of institutions", pointed out Mr Costas Bakouris, TI-Greece Chairman.

Petty Corruption in the Public Sector

The public sector bodies still remain at the top of the petty corruption list, with hospitals, tax offices and construction-licencing bodies still occupying the first places in the public services corruption index.

The average bribe to a public service cost €1228 in 2012. However, the bribes paid to public services have also been affected from austerity, as there is substantial reduction in their average amount from 2011, when the average bribe cost €1399. A bribe to get a drivers licence tends to cost between €100 and €300, to get surgery in a hospital can cost between €100 and €30.000.

Petty Corruption in the Private Sector

Petty bribes in the private sector seems to have grown in average size by 2.6% (average amount of €1.442 in 2012 versus €1.406 in 2011), even though there was a decline in the number of reported corruption transactions (2.6% in 2012 versus 3.6% for 2011).

The geographic allocation of corruption in Greece

There seems to be an extended geographical dispersion of corruption, with the highest rates of corruption -for both public and private sector- located in the Attica Region and particularly in the city of Athens (due to the fact that the majority of public services are based in the capital) as well as in the region of Peloponnese (southern part of Greek mainland).

The victim’s profile

The 2012 survey illustrates the social profile of petty corruption victims (based on the 21.5% of the respondents, who have been corruption victims in the past): they are mostly male, between the ages of 45-54 years old, higher education graduates, under a self-employed or employer status.

Even in 2012, respondents stated that they perceive the non issuance of receipts during transactions as a corruption incident. Additionally, more people (27.3% for the public sector for 2012 versus 25.3% for 2011 and 31% for the private sector for 2012 versus 21.6% for 2011) stated that they refused to pay the requested bribes.

How to fight petty corruption

E-government tools and Information and Communication Technology applications (ICTs) provide solutions to tackle petty corruption, as they contribute to public administration reform, facilitating citizens’ detachment from the public services and consequently reducing opportunities for bribe transactions.

TI-Greece has recently presented a Policy Paper on E-government advantages and tools , recommending widespread implementation of e-payments for the transactions with the public administration, the establishment of a unique citizen’s transaction number etc.

Moreover, the adaptation and implementation of an effective legal framework for whistleblower protection and encouragement, can in the long run change mentalities, breaking longtime vicious circles that “tolerate” corrupt practices. “Let us look at the current difficult situation in a creative way, taking small concrete steps. Citizens are already showing signs of maturity. Let’s encourage them, protect them, facilitate them and engage them in the fight against corruption”, said Mr Costas Bakouris.

Type of service From To
PUBLIC SECTOR PUBLIC HOSPITALS Procedure/Surgery 2011 €100 €30000
2012 €50 €20000
Speeding up of case 2011 €30 €20000
2012 €10 €7000
TAX OFFICES Debts settlement 2011 €300 €10000
2012 €500 €4000
Arrangement for financial records audit 2011 €100 €20000
2012 €100 €1000
Speeding up of case 2011 €10 €30000
2012 €200 €1.000
LICENSE CONSTRUCTION BODIES Issuing of a construction licence 2011 €200 €8.000
2012 €100 €7.500
Speeding up of case 2011 €200 €600
2012 €50 €5.000
Settlement of illegal building 2011 €200 €5.000
2012 €400 €3.000
2012 €90 €25.000
Medical tests 2011 €30 €500
2012 €10 €3.100
VEHICLES VTCC inspection 2011 €20 €100
2012 €20 €200
Driver’s Licence 2011 €40 €500
2012 €100 €300

The survey

This is the sixth year (since 2007) that TI-Greece conducts the National Survey on Corruption in Greece, which presents the size of petty corruption that burdens the Greek households. The 2012 Survey occurred in twelve waves over the period January-December 2012, using a structured questionnaire addressing to a sample of 12.104 people. The data comparative analysis and update assessments significantly contribute to the survey’s credibility and validity, setting it an important scientific tool. The 2012 National Survey on Corruption in Greece was conducted within the framework of the Project "Conduct of an Integrated National Survey on Corruption" that was included in the Operational Program "Administrative Reform 2007-2013" of the NSRF.

The key findings of the 2012 National Survey on Corruption in Greece are available here.

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