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Eighty three percent of Greek Cypriots believes that corruption is a major problem, an annual survey carried out by an anti-corruption non-governmental organisation, has shown.

Corruption is one of the biggest “industries” of organized crime that costs the EU economy approximately €120 billion annually mainly in lost tax revenue and foreign investment, Transparency International – Cyprus said in a press release on Monday.

The NGO said it conducted two surveys, in 2014 and 2015, to study and compare the perceptions of Greek Cypriot citizens as regards corruption. Four hundred and twenty five Greek Cypriots were surveyed in 2014 and another 442 in 2015, with the majority of them being from the private sector.

One in two participants said they had experienced an incident of corruption, while 4 out of 5 appeared willing to report such an incident to Transparency International – Cyprus.

Both in 2014 and 2015, 83% of the participants believed that corruption is a major problem.

“Greek Cypriot citizens firmly believe that corruption exists on a national level but is more evident in political parties, local government and the banking sector. The views on the existence of corruption in the South Cyprus were similar for both years, with the exception of local government”, Transparency International – Cyprus, said, noting that following recent local scandals it is not surprising that there has been an increase in the percentage of citizens who believe that corruption in local government is high.

Comparing the results of the two surveys, it is clear that in 2015 Greek Cypriots have a better understanding of what is an act of corruption and what is not, than in 2014, it added.
The two surveys revealed that Greek Cypriots need to become more aware of corruption and its meaning to be able to identify corruption cases, the NGO said.

According to Transparency International – Cyprus, Greek Cypriots believe that the responsibility to prevent and combat corruption lies with the government, the Police and the Auditor General.

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