EC: Corruption Costs EU Economy EUR 120 B Each Year
The extent of corruption in Europe is "breathtaking" and it costs the EU economy at least EUR 120 B annually, the European Commission says.
EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem presented on Monday a full report on the problem.
She admitted that the true cost of corruption was "probably much higher" than EUR 120 B.
Three-quarters of Europeans surveyed for the Commission study said that corruption was widespread, and more than half said the level had increased.
"The extent of the problem in Europe is breathtaking, although Sweden is among the countries with the least problems," Malmstroem wrote in Sweden's Goeteborgs-Posten daily.
The cost to the EU economy is equivalent to the bloc's annual budget.
For the report the Commission studied corruption in all 28 EU member states.
In Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Romania and Greece, between 6% and 29% of respondents said they had been asked for a bribe, or had been expected to pay one, in the past 12 months.
There were also high levels of bribery in Poland (15%), Slovakia (14%) and Hungary (13%), where the most prehad been expected to pay one, in the past 12 months.
There were also high levels of bribery in Poland (15%), Slovakia (14%) and Hungary (13%), where the most prevalent instances were in healthcare.
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