Most Cypriot companies feel corruption on the island is widespread, threatening their business, according to the latest Eurobarometer issued by the European Commission.
The vast majority (95%) of businesses believe corruption is widespread, while 72% say it impedes their growth and existence.
And just 2% of companies say they rarely come across corruption.
Firms feeling threatened by corruption are the third highest in the European Union, after Romania (75%) and Greece (74%).
The most widespread corruption practice in Cyprus, according to 62% of the participating companies, is kickbacks, followed by the financing of political parties in exchange for public contracts or exerting influence on policymaking, according to 57%.
Some 49% consider nepotism prevalent, while 35% consider bribery common practice to obtain contracts or jobs.
At the same time, 86% of companies said they were displeased with the authorities’ reaction when corruption was unveiled, as the punishment did not fit the crime.
Just 12% of companies said they were pleased with punishments given to offenders.
Moreover, 73% of the participants consider that anti-corruption measures in Cyprus are not applied impartially or without ulterior motives, in contrast to 22% who consider that they are applied.
When dealing with the public sector, 96% of the respondents said they had not offered any favours or gifts to carry out procedures such as building or other permits.
But 4% admitted to offering a favour or money on at least one occasion.
The majority of Cypriot businesses (65%) believe that during the last three years, corruption has prevented them from being awarded a public tender or concluding a public contract.
Half of the participants (50%) consider it unlikely that people or businesses involved in a bribery case will be charged and brought to justice, compared to 49% who said it was possible.
At the same time, 38% consider it possible for large fines or prison sentences to be imposed by the courts, compared to 62% who consider it unlikely.
Meanwhile, 75% of the respondents consider the complexity of administrative procedures a problem compared to 25% who do not.
The lack of means or procedures to recover debts from others is a problem for 64% of Cypriot businesses, against 34% who said otherwise.
Inadequate infrastructure in the country is a problem for 64%, while access to finance, including credit, was an issue for 60% of respondents.