Serbs Pay EUR 15 000 for Corruption in Lifetime

World | July 17, 2011, Sunday // 18:36

Every Serb pays an average of about EUR 15 000 for bribes during their lifetime, according to a report.

If bribes had to be paid at every stage of life, including for an exam pass, a diploma, jobs and a grave, that sum could rise to 25,000 euros, which amounts to about four annual gross salaries, the Serbian newspaper Press reported on Sunday, as cited by DPA.

"In Serbia everything and everybody can be bought or bribed,' the paper said stressing that corruption is especially rampant in the health sector.

The publication reminds that Serbia occupies the fourth position in the World Health Organization's corruption ranking, ranked only behind Tajikistan, Moldova and Morocco.

While health services are officially free in Serbia, patients have to pay about EUR 1 000 for giving birth in a clinic, access to a hospital bed costs up to EUR 700 and an operation EUR 3 000. A traffic policeman's bribe could reach EUR 100, while a driving license can be bought for EUR 500, and a passport – for EUR 1 000, the report says; it also points out that gifts such as whiskey or chocolates provided to officials or doctors are also rampant.

It was no small wonder that some government officials had nicknames such as 'Minister 10 per cent' or 'Minister 20 per cent,' the paper quoted psychologist Aleksandra Jankovic as saying.

As described by the Serbian newspaper Press, the situation with everyday corruption in Serbia appears to be very similar to that in Bulgaria where as early as 1998 a Cabinet member earned the title "Minister 10 per cent."

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Tags: Serbia, Serbs, corruption, health care, healthcare, bribe, bribes, bribery
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