The percentage of Cypriots who believe corruption is a major problem on the island has remained the same over the past year, according to comparative survey by Transparency International – Cyprus.
The results showed that in 2014 and 2015, 83 per cent of Cypriots believe corruption is a major problem in political parties, local government and the banking sector, the Cyprus News Agency reported.
The questionnaires were identical for both years to facilitate the comparisons, surveying over 400 people aged between 18-65.
According to the findings of the latest one, one in two respondents said they had experienced an incident corruption, while four out of five participants said they would be willing to report such an incident to Transparency International – Cyprus.
A third of participants said they would not be afraid to use their own names in filing a complaint but the remainder said they would prefer to do it anonymously.
“Cypriot citizens firmly believe that corruption exists at national level. However it is more evident in political parties, local government, and the banking sector,” Transparency said but added that the percentage who saw corruption in local government was higher in the 2015 survey given the recent scandals within municipalities, particularly the sewerage scandal in Paphos.
Most Cypriots felt that favoritism, nepotism and corruption hinder business competition and believe you need political connections to do business on the island.
Transparency said the data from both studies showed that Cypriots needed more awareness about corruption and its meaning to be able to identify corruption cases.
Most believed the police and the auditor-general were responsible to prevent and combat corruption. The percentage who believed the latter rose 9 per cent between 2014 and 2015, Transparency said, due to a number of high-profile cases exposed by the auditor-general.
“It is an oxymoron that although the majority of respondents in both surveys believe that political parties are among the most corrupt institutions in Cypriot society, the majority of respondents believe that the political parties have a responsibility to combat and prevent corruption,” Transparency said.
It is estimated that in the EU, around €120 billion is lost annually in taxes and revenue due to corruption.