This report is a gift from God. While our dubious representatives at the negotiations with the PLO are running around like chickens sand the heads warning about the terrible things that would happen to us if we’re dropped from the EU list of good Jews you can trade with – it’s looking like the entire EU itself is up for a major reupholstering, and maybe, just maybe, some of the folks making the loudest threats will see the inside of a barred cell.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it appears the European Union, the one with the charter on what’s legal and decent, is one of the most corrupt organizations on the planet.
There, I said it.
How corrupt id the European Union? Cecilia Malmstrom, the European commissioner for home affairs, says it’s losing at least 120 billion euros a year to corruption.
The EU Anti-Corruption Report warns that “Corruption seriously harms the economy and society as a whole. Many countries around the world suffer from deep-rooted corruption that hampers economic development, undermines democracy, and damages social justice and the rule of law. The Member States of the EU are not immune to this reality.”
Malmstrom said the commission’s estimate that corruption costs Europe €120 billion, or roughly $162 billion, annually was almost certainly too conservative. The figure is equivalent to about 1 percent of the €11.7 trillion gross domestic product of the 28-nation European Union.
Are you not surprised? Me neither. The intro to the report continues: “Corruption varies in nature and extent from one country to another, but it affects all Member States. It impinges on good governance, sound management of public money, and competitive markets. In extreme cases, it undermines the trust of citizens in democratic institutions and processes.”
You know what this means, right? It means that every decision, every effort, every suggestion coming out of the EU is suspected of having a hidden agenda, and a nefarious one at that.
Do you want these people helping us strike a peace deal with our neighbors?
Most Businesses believe EU corruption is widespread and that the only way to succeed in business is through political connections and almost half of the companies doing business in Europe say corruption is a problem for them.
“In a time of appalling economic and financial crisis, recovering for the legal economy the money deviated by defrauders is of utmost importance; those funds are very much needed to foster growth and jobs,” said Spain’s Juan Fernando López Aguilar, who chairs the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee.
Someone should tell Aguilar that almost all firms in Greece, Spain and Italy believe corruption is widespread.
Construction companies, which often tender for government contracts, are the most affected. Almost eight in ten of those questioned had complaints about corruption. The NY Times reported that a 2013 study for European Union anti-fraud authorities described a case in which an unnamed government entity invited companies to bid on a contract to build two buildings. The winning bid was €600,000, even though other companies had offered to do the work for €400,000.
Somebody pocketed that €200,000.
So, I say, don’t buy stuff from these people, you just don’t know where it’s been. Boycott the European Union because they’re gonnifs.
The key findings at European level are:
- The majority (76%) of Europeans think that corruption is widespread in their own country.
- Countries where respondents are most likely to think so are: Greece (99%), Italy (97%), Lithuania, Spain and the Czech Republic (all 95%), Croatia (94%), Romania (93%), Slovenia (91%), Portugal and Slovakia (both 90%). The Nordic countries are the only Member States where the majority think corruption is rare – Denmark (75%), Finland (64%) and Sweden (54%).
- More than half of Europeans (56%) think the level of corruption in their country has increased over the past three years (a surge compared to a previous study in 2011, when 47% perceived corruption to have risen over the same period of time).
- Spain (77%), Slovenia, the Czech Republic (both 76%), Italy (74%) and Portugal (72%) are amongst countries where respondents are most likely to think corruption has increased.
- 23% of Europeans think that their government’s efforts are effective in tackling corruption; 26% that there are enough successful prosecutions in their country to deter people from corrupt practices.
- 81% of Europeans think that too-close links between business and politics in their country lead to corruption; 69% that favouritism and corruption hinder business competition; 67% that corruption is part of the business culture in their country; and more than half (56%) that the only way to succeed in business in their country is through political connections.
- Around one in twelve Europeans (8%) say they have experienced or witnessed a case of corruption in the past 12 months. Yet only 12% of those who have encountered corruption say that they reported it.
- Respondents are most likely to say they have experienced or witnessed corruption in Lithuania (25 %), Slovakia (21 %) and Poland (16 %) and least likely to do so in Finland and Denmark (3 % in each), Malta and the UK (4 % in each).
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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