Just how corrupt is Europe?

New report reveals corruption due to lack of transparency and accountability contributing to the eurozone’s debt crisis

Watch this video, 24.09 min, published on Al Jazeera, June 8, 2012: Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI) says the close relationships between governments and big businesses are enabling corruption and fuelling the eurozone’s debt crisis. The warning comes in a new report that says poor governance contributed to financial and political scandals in almost every European country during 2011.  

Greece, Italy and Spain are listed as among the most corrupt countries on the continent.

Political parties, businesses and the public sector are said to be the worst institutions for corruption, while electoral commissions and state auditors performed the best.

The report named Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain – the eurozone’s most financially-troubled nations – as having deeply-rooted problems in their public administrations where officials are not accountable for their actions.

Political lobbying is also seen as a major cause for concern. Out of 25 European countries 19 have no regulations on political lobbying.

Party funding, with the influence of lobbyists on decision-makers remaining veiled in secrecy, is seen as ripe for abuse by big businesses. The report says Europe’s political parties must do more to make funding transparent … //


  • In Italy, there is the famous corruption scandal of Silvio Berlusconi. The former Italian prime minister has been accused of embezzlement, tax fraud and false accounting along with attempting to bribe a judge. But he has always denied wrongdoing and has never been convicted.
  • In Spain, there is the corruption case involving Inaki Urdangarin, the son-in-law of Spain’s King Juan Carlos. Urdangarin, the Duke of Palma, along with his business partner, are accused of diverting millions of euros of public money meant for a non-profit organisation they controlled to private offshore accounts. The duke has denied any wrongdoing in the case, which has been a rare embarrassment for the Spanish royal family.
  • In Britain, several members of parliament were convicted after it was revealed that they were misusing their expense accounts.

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Counting the Cost: The best of Al Jazeera’s reporting on the impact of the financial crisis, on Al Jazeera;

The debt crisis: its cause is redistribution and its consequence debt servitude.

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