“Transparency Now!” New service for the reception of citizen’s denouncements about corruption

Issued by Transparency International Greece



"Mr. G. was working for the public sector in a large Region of the country. From this position of responsibility, Mr G. came across illegal farmers' pensions that were given to people who were not entitled for. In this case, after the employee's denouncement, the General Inspector of Public Administration intervened and requested withdrawal of these pensions by the Region. After a long time that passed without any progress, Transparency International - Greece requested briefing on the case by the responsible Deputy Head of the Region. According to calculations by the employee, the removal of pensions will refund the total amount of 500.000 to the State».

The case of Mr. G. is one of many that Transparency International - Greece has to cope with, in the framework of the new Service “Transparency Now!”[1], which was officially announced by the organization, for the reception of denouncements from citizens facing corruption.

In a press conference, which was held today by Transparency International-Greece, representatives of the NGO outlined the contribution and the role of this new Service in uncovering and publicizing significant incidents of corruption in 60 countries around the world and stressed the need for the existence of such a service in Greece nowadays, a service that will stand by the side of the citizen.

Since 2003, when the first Services of reception and reporting of corruption denouncements started operating by Transparency International in Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and FYROΜ, services and branches of  Transparency International have currently reached 90 in total worldwide. These have received and supported more than 140,000 citizens who wished to denounce incidents of corruption.

"Transparency Now!" is a new Service for the reception of complaints related to corruption. This Service operates with the support of the legal team of Transparency International - Greece and the contribution of trained volunteers, with the aim of providing guidance and support to victims and witnesses of corruption. "Our aim is to contribute in the solution of problems caused by corruption, the identification of agencies and services vulnerable to corruption and the promotion of systemic changes that will improve the daily lives of all citizens" declared Vassilis Sotiropoulos, Legal Advisor of "Transparency Now!".

Every citizen can report incidents of corruption to the Service "Transparency Now!", in order to get support and guidance on how and where one could further address the denouncement, ensuring effective treatment. The Service enables citizens to address incidents of corruption with the following simple ways:

When the General Secretary of the Organization, Anastasia Manou, was asked why the Service "Transparency Now!" has started functioning in Greece, she said: "Because we believe that citizens would not stay indifferent towards corruption if someone offered them a simple and reliable mechanism to denounce it. The battle against corruption will be more effective if citizens participate in an active way. Direct contact with citizens enables us to understand how corruption works in practice and to promote appropriate proposals".

The Chairman of Transparency International Greece, Costas Bakouris noted that "In Greece, based on the Global Corruption Barometer, 84% of those surveyed felt prepared to report incidents of corruption. Thus, there is an optimistic message that citizens do have the will to fight corruption in this country".  And he concluded by saying that: "The denouncements which we will get from citizens will help us gather data and draw conclusions on which areas corruption thrives", which are its origins, enabling us to suggest solutions for substantive changes on the system".

"Time to wake up ! " _The Campaign

There is an alarmingly high number of people experiencing or becoming silent witnesses of corruption in their daily lives. Many of us know, saw, heard, experienced; a doctor, a civil servant, a politician, a businessman who was bribed, who "laundered" illegal amounts of money, who did not go to prison while s/he was guilty. This is the main concept of the new awareness campaign says Sophia Ioannou, Responsible for Communications at Transparency International - Greece. Corruption should keep us all awake. That is why we are launching a large campaign, entitled "Time to wake up!". We are already noticing that people realize the need to speak out and break the vicious cycle of silence. We want to empower them even more".

In the framework of this nationwide campaign "Time to wake up!", Transparency International Greece is organizing a series of street events on Saturday, September 28, in the Centre of Athens, at Korai Square and an alternative bike ride, «The Ride of Transparency», in collaboration with George Amyras. Everyone is invited to participate!

 

[1]Transparency NOW!" is part of the European action, implemented by Transparency International in Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg. The Service is available to everyone: individuals and organizations that have been victims of corruption or economic crime and wish to take action in order to put an end to corruption before someone else becomes the next victim.


For any press enquiries please contact

Sophia Ioannou, Communications Officer, tel. +30 210 722 4940/ +30 6937 251997, email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 

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