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2020.01.17 14:49

Corruption on decline in Lithuania, survey suggests

BNS2020.01.17 14:49

Corruption in Lithuania continued to go down last year, according a survey by the Special Investigation Service (STT) which published its latest corruption map.

Ten percent of the general public, five percent of business representatives and two percent of civil servants said they paid a bribe last year, compared to 12, eight and four percent, respectively, a year ago.

Most of the situations for ordinary people occurred at hospitals, but prevalence of bribe giving is decreasing, compared to the past few years.

Corruption has also decreased in dealing with traffic police, municipal authorities, ambulance stations and policlinics.

“People in Lithuania are dealing with corruption directly less and less often, and they believe that corruption levels are going down, even though it remains a serious problem,” Žydrūnas Bartkus, the STT director, said in a statement.

The STT also notes that the share of people who are ready to report corruption has not changed significantly over the past decade. Twenty-five percent of businesspeople were ready to do so in 2007, compared to 31 percent last year. Among ordinary people, the share was 24 and 22 percent, respectively.

Among civil servants, 52 percent said they would report corruption, up from 29 percent in 2014.

Lithuanians regard corruption as the fourth most acute problem in the country, after low wages, rising prices, and emigration. Thirty-six percent of the population named corruption as a very serious problem, down from 40 percent in 2018.

Every fifth respondent thought that the extent of corruption increased over the past five years, 37 percent said it remained unchanged, and 26 percent thought that it went down.

In the survey, people said that corruption situations mostly occur at healthcare institutions (47 percent), courts of law (37) and the parliament (30).

Sixty-one percent of the general public respondents believe that bribes can help solve problems, the lowest number since 2007 (85 percent thought so in 2007, 63 percent in 2018).

Thirty percent of the population are willing to give a bribe in order to solve a problem and 3 percent said they actually offered a bribe in 2019, while 27 percent knew of other people who did.

The survey of 1,001 people from the general population, 501 company executives and 510 civil servants was carried out for the STT by the Vilmorus public opinion and market research centre.