CRIME, corruption and the crisis have topped the list of Cypriots’ concerns with a staggering 94 percent of respondents believing that corruption is widespread in the police and the wider public sector.
The EU average in the same category was 78%, according to the EU’s latest Eurobarometer.
Asked how this corruption manifested, 54% of Cypriots agreed that many appointments in public administration were not attained through merit. Many also felt the following; that corruption was a daily part of life where 30% was in agreement.
Some 40% believe laws were not being enforced, while 43% think there is no real punishment for the lack of enforcement.
Around 45% think politicians are not doing enough to fight corruption.
Asked about the giving and taking of bribes and the abuse of power for personal gain in various sectors, Cypriot perception that they were widespread was consistently higher than the EU average. In the case of the police, customs, public health and education service, the percentage of Cypriots that belief in widespread corruption was twice the EU average.
Curiously, Cypriots did feel that public spending was done in a more transparent way than the average EU citizen, which suggests that it is the people appointed to spend, not where the money goes that is the main concern.
Another curious result regarding public trust is that Cypriots place equal trust in the press as they do the EU, while 70% mistrust NATO.
Regarding the global crisis, 43% of respondents said that the current economic situation was their main concern, and that the worst was yet to come said 76%.
This was followed by 36% who said crime was their main concern. 31% said unemployment and 26% rising prices.
The EU-27 wide poll also listed “Other Problems” as a category of concern, which 18% of respondents chose (the largest response in the EU-27) Since the Cyprus problem was not an option in the poll, it is likely that most of the 18% meant this.
Just one in four respondents said that things in general were moving in the right direction, and less than one in five believed today’s children will have an easier life.
Download the full Eurobarometer special survey report on corruption.