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Transparency International survey finds increase in corruption

An international study has revealed that more than half of the world's people believe global corruption has worsened over the past two years. It found a lack of trust in the police, courts and political parties.

A report released by Transparency International on Tuesday says more than half of respondents believe corruption has worsened over the past two years.

After surveying 114,000 people across 107 countries, the group found that people have the least amount of trust in institutions meant to protect them. In 36 countries, respondents said they viewed the police as the most corrupt, 20 countries saw the judiciary as the worst, and 51 countries saw political parties as the most corrupt institution.

The Berlin-based global non-profit group, which studies corruption around the world, also found that 27 percent of people interviewed admitted to having paid a bribe to a member of a public service or institution in the past 12 months.

With eight of the 10 countries with the highest bribery rates being in Africa, the group pointed to a link between poverty and political corruption.

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Worldwide corruption

The study also found that respondents believed official anti-corruption efforts had deteriorated since the start of the world financial crisis in 2008.

The survey found that corruption in most Arab countries had worsened since the 2011 revolutions, despite anger over corruption having been a major reason for the uprisings.

In Egypt, 64 percent of those surveyed said corruption had worsened and in Tunisia, the figure was 80 percent.

Within Egypt, 78 percent of respondents said the police were corrupt and 45 percent found the military corrupt.

Silver lining     

Despite the negative aspects of the report, there was a sign of improvement. The group said that two-thirds of those who were asked to pay a bribe said they had refused.

"Bribe paying levels remain very high worldwide, but people believe they have the power to stop corruption and the number of those willing to combat the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery is significant," said Huguette Labelle, chair of Transparency International.           

She added that "governments need to make sure that there are strong, independent and well-resourced institutions to prevent and redress corruption. Too many people are harmed when these core institutions and basic services are undermined by the scourge of corruption."

hc/pfd (Reuters, AFP)

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