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Cyprus

Corruption ‘largely responsible for economic situation’ – poll

Six out of ten Cypriots believe that corruption is largely responsible for the economic situation and most also believe society allows it to flourish, according to a poll published on Sunday in Simerini newspaper.

The survey was conducted by IMR and the University of Nicosia.

According to the results, six out of ten people believe that the main factor for the existence and growth of corruption is impunity, although 55% said they were optimistic that there would be more convictions for such crime in 2016.

The banking sector is seen as the most corrupt, followed by political parties and local government, according to the telephone survey carried out between April 5-6 from both urban and rural areas.

The economic crisis was seen as the most important problem facing the country by more than half of those polled, followed by unemployment. The Cyprus problem, was the ‘number one’ problem for for 14% and described as a ‘major problem’ by 35%.

Corruption was listed as the ‘number one’ problem for 7%, but one third believe it is a ‘major problem’.

Seven out of ten believe corruption has increased in recent years while one in four believe it is the same. Only 4% thought it had been reduced.

When asked however whether they really think corruption has increased or whether it was just because more cases had seen the light of day, 71% agreed, as opposed to 29% who believe that it had actually increased.

While 55% were optimistic that more cases would reach the courts in 2016, some 45% believe this would not happen.

The responsibility for preventing and exposing corruption belongs with the government, 70% said, followed by political parties (63%) and the auditor-general (53%).

Over 45% thought police had some responsibility, the attorney-general’s office (45%) and the courts (42%). When it came to the public’s responsibility, although 19% said the public has no responsibility at all, almost 80 per cent in total assigned some responsibility to the public to greater or lesser extents.

The poll revealed that 34% per cent had trust ‘to a large extent’ in the auditor-general’s office, 32% trusted it to ‘some extent’, and 21% trusted it to a ‘small extent’. Only 13% said they did not trust the audit office at all.

Two in five Cypriots said they have no confidence in the government, while 63% believe the government cannot fight corruption within the political parties without a specialised anti-corruption body.

The banking sector is considered the most corrupt sector in Cyprus with 74% believing this. Some 71% think political parties are corrupt and 68% see corruption in local authorities.

Six out of ten also believe the health system and the government are largely corrupt.

The same number (60%) believe that Cypriot society itself is conducive to corruption and 35% believe the same ‘to an extent’. Only 5% disagreed with this position.

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