Stiffer fines for bribe-tak­ing in state sec­tor

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

In a bid to fight cor­rup­tion in the pub­lic sec­tor, the Greek govern­ment is in­tro­duc­ing leg­is­la­tion that raises the fines for tak­ing kick­backs and bribes as much as 50 times the amount of the bribe.

The law – which also stip­u­lates the in­tro­duc­tion of so-called cor­rup­tion pros­e­cu­tors tasked with speed­ing up ex­ist­ing graft cases – is de­signed to com­bat bribe-tak­ing across the state sec­tor, from min­is­ters and govern­ment of­fi­cials to lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion staff.

On top of jail sen­tences, of­fi­cials caught on graft charges will face fines up to 50 times the amount of the bribe. Sources told Kathimerini that the mea­sures “aim to crack down on medium- and low-level cor­rup­tion, mean­ing bribes which start from 1,000 eu­ros and go up to sums of a few thou­sand eu­ros.”

How­ever, the same source said, the law may have lit­tle im­pact among law­break­ing min­is­ters and govern­ment of­fi­cials as the size of fines here will make them un­likely to be col­lected.

From hold­ing 80th place in the 176 coun­tries on Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional’s cor­rup­tion per­cep­tions in­dex in 2011, Greece’s global rank­ing fell to 94 in 2012.

More than 200 se­ri­ous cases of al­leged cor­rup­tion in the pub­lic sec­tor are ex­pected to be un­der way at the Athens Court of First In­stance as of mid-Septem­ber.

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