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Transparency International Germans concerned about the influence of the economy Many EU citizens perceive corruption as a major problem – this is the result of the current corruption barometer from Transparency International. Germany, too, has to do significantly more. From P. Eckstein.


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Transparency International Germans concerned about economic influence

Status: 15.06.2021 09:26 a.m.

Many EU citizens perceive corruption as a major problem – this is evident from the current corruption barometer from Transparency International. Germany too has to do significantly more. From Philipp Eckstein, ARD capital studio Corruption: a problem across the European Union. The perception of the citizens is correspondingly critical. This is how the statements of the corruption barometer from Transparency International can be summarized. Between October and December 2020, more than 40,000 people were interviewed by telephone for the representative survey in the EU. Around a third of them said that they believe that corruption has increased in their country in the past year. The increase in Cyprus was particularly strong at 65 percent.

Corruption scandal in Cyprus

Last year, journalists there discovered that politicians had sold passports to criminals from abroad – probably for a fee. That is one reason why the perception of corruption in Cyprus has deteriorated so significantly, according to Transparency International. Almost two thirds of the EU citizens questioned said in the survey that corruption was a major problem in their government. There are clear differences within the EU.

Big differences between countries

While in Denmark and Finland only twelve and 16 percent perceive a corruption problem in their government, in Bulgaria it is 90 percent and in Croatia even 92 percent. Of the 4800 or so respondents in Germany, 34 percent said corruption was a problem in the federal government. Overall, according to the study, trust in government and politics in Germany is relatively high compared to many other European countries.

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Criticism of federal states Easy game for lobbyists The federal states do poorly in a lobby ranking compiled by “Transparency International”.

Nevertheless: “We still have a problem with corruption,” says Hartmut Bäumer, Chairman of Transparency Germany. 62 percent of those questioned would say: “The government is essentially controlled in its decisions by large financial interests.” So it follows financially strong interest groups and not the interests of the general public. In addition, more than 38 percent have the perception that the federal government is doing too little against corruption. Taken together, “these are numbers that are really worrying,” said Bäumer, “because they feed those who are critical of the state and our liberal democracy anyway. And that is, so to speak, the breeding ground for everything that changes from lateral thinkers or right or left radicalism developed from. ”

Stricter requirements for lobby registers

The federal government urgently needs to do more to combat corruption and, above all, to ensure more transparency, according to Transparency International, for example through stricter rules for the lobby register. The anti-corruption organization is also calling for corporate criminal law to be introduced. Such measures can regain lost trust.

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Germany in the corruption register There is a lack of transparency Transparency International calls for more control over party donations and insight into vaccine contracts.

This seems to be urgently needed, especially in the business sector. According to the survey, one in three respondents in Germany believe that all or most of the business leaders are involved in corruption. More than half believe companies use money or relationships to get public contracts.