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Cypriots see corruption everywhere

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An overwhelming 94% of Cypriots believe that corruption is widespread in every area of public life, according to a special Eurobarometer.

The number is significantly higher than the EU average (68%) and the second highest percentage of positive responses after Greece (98%).

Asked whether they perceive the level of corruption in the country to have increased, remained the same or reduced over the past three years, 66% in Cyprus said corruption had increased (41% EU average), 27% said it remained unchanged (43%), and 4% thought corruption had reduced (9%).

On whether there is corruption in national public institutions in the country, 92% in Cyprus said yes, which marks a 3% increase from 2021.

On average, in the EU, 74% of respondents (an increase of 4%) gave a positive answer to this question.

Asked whether they believe there is corruption in local or regional public institutions, 87% of respondents in Cyprus said yes, compared to the 72% EU average.

Called to identify where they believe bribery and abuse of power to be widespread, respondents in Cyprus 70% said political parties (an increase of 7% from 2021), followed by the healthcare system (60%, +1%), officials awarding public tenders (58%, +6%), officials issuing building permits (57%, +4%), politicians (54%, +6%) and police and customs (54%, +1%).

On average, in the EU, political parties came first (58%, +5%), followed by politicians at the national, regional or local level (55%, +6%), officials awarding public tenders (45%, +7%), officials issuing building permits (45%, +8%), private companies (37%, no change – in Cyprus it was at 31% with a 3% reduction) and officials issuing business permits (33%, +3%, and 52% in Cyprus -2%).

Some 93% of respondents in Cyprus, compared to the 77% EU average, agreed that close ties between business and politics lead to corruption.

Most respondents in Cyprus (53%) said that they wouldn’t report corruption because this would be pointless as those responsible will not be punished (30% EU), and 43% said there is no protection for those that report corruption (28% in the EU) and 40% said that it is difficult to prove (48% in the EU)

But 52% of Cypriots would trust the police to deal with corruption (63% in the EU), 29% the National Ombudsman (16% EU) and 21% the media and journalists (15% EU).

The European Parliament survey was conducted through personal interviews with a sample of 505 in Cyprus.