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Germany 'more corrupt than thought'

The Local · 2 Dec 2011, 11:06

Published: 02 Dec 2011 11:06 GMT+01:00

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The annual survey by the Berlin-based non-governmental organization placed Germany above well-developed countries like the United States, Austria and Belgium.

But Christian Humborg, the managing director of Transparency’s Germany branch, pointed out that the country’s position hadn’t improved much in recent years. In 2010, Germany was ranked 15th and the year before was ranked 14th in the index. It has consistently ranked in the middle of the pack among European countries and well below Canada and Singapore.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done in Germany,” Humborg told The Local.

Humborg said Germany most urgently needs to address widespread perceptions that political parties and politicians place themselves open to corruption.

Under German law, companies can sponsor political parties and even set up stands at party events, he said. Though party financing scandals in recent years have resulted in more regulation and greater transparency, the company sponsorships can create the perception that companies can curry favour with politicians, he said.

“There hasn’t been anything happened for the last years to look at this issue,” he complained.

Humborg also said that Germany should immediately ratify its accession to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, which obliges states to put in place specific and detailed safeguards against corruption.

Although Germany has provisionally signed the convention, the fact that it has not yet ratified – meaning it is not legally bound by its provisions – puts it in dubious company with countries like Saudi Arabia, Syria and North Korea. In Europe the Czech Republic is the only other country other country that has not yet ratified the convention.

Humborg said Bundestag members are worried that if the treaty is ratified there could be more anti-bribery investigations launched against them, leading to damaged reputations if charges are later proven false.

“It seems other countries haven’t had this problem, so those worries don’t make a lot of sense,” Humborg said.

Moises Mendoza

Story continues below…



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Your comments about this article

11:43 December 2, 2011 by pepsionice
I would say that Germany has a different kind of corruption factor. Bribing cops just won't happen. The same goes for your telephone repair guy or your cable TV guy. Now, there tens of thousands of rules about renovating a house, and you might have to bribe a building inspector or town clerk. Most all public road projects have some degree of corruption with someone getting a bribe from the contractor team that wins. Same way with bridges.

Doctors getting bribes? Yes, but not in the same fashion....a drug company will reward a doctor with a leased car or a vacation in Italy....for dispensing the right prescriptions out for their drugs. The government didn't really grasp that until three years ago. Doctors giving out time-off notes for cash? Yeah, that happens too.
13:15 December 2, 2011 by storymann
I an assuming that this is based on the amount of political corruption, involving donations to members of Gov. for election and area contracts to a members district or state and payback favors for that support.

Doubt that you can completely cure these ills.

Looking over the entire list, Germany's placement ,being a one of the worlds largest economies does not seem unreasonable to me.
13:38 December 2, 2011 by Navigator_B
Corruption is more acceptable the higher up you go in Germany. 

Helmut Kohl was was caught taking illegal party donations and refused to say who else was involved but did not get sentenced. Instead he is now treated as a hero that everyone should look up to and listen to whenever he opens his mouth.

Wolfgang Schäuble had to resign from the government at the time because he knew about donations from the arms dealer Schreiber but now he has the second most important job in government as finance minister.
15:33 December 2, 2011 by Hans Tuga

Spot-on... And german companies dont have any kind of scruples when it comes to winning contracts and markets outside of germany. They even prefer doing it so. it's like the managers love it like a relief valve...

German and austrian companies are being investigated for Thousands of million of euros in bribes and corruption on southern and western europe countries...
22:57 December 2, 2011 by heyheyhey
We do have a global economy, but no global code of ethics that strictly regulates, AND LIMITS, the amount of financial influence that any one company or individual can have with regard to elected officials.

The ability of corporate America to BUY THE AMERICAN POLITICIAN, is at the heart of the corruption to facilitated thos global economic meltdown. Corporate money elected people who would de-regulate the banking industry. Corporate money also bought all the political votes it needed to defeat regulations that would have never allowed this to happen.

In AMERICA, DE-REGULATION OF BUSINESS. and BUSINESS $$$$$$ electing the politicaians is THE PROBLEM in the USA.

MONEY has become the GOD of all decision making.


GREED, MONEY, AND POWER...........out of control, due to deregulation.

Only angry. demanding world citizens can make this change.

We all know that politicians love the power inherent in their jobs, so they will do anything and everything to get elected, and re-elected.

02:11 December 3, 2011 by brnskin2010
@heyheyhey....I totally agree.......
17:07 December 4, 2011 by storymann
heyheyhey you think this problem is only problematic in the USA? I am assuming you are aware of the gross corruption in China,India and Russia that would by any standard dwarf corruption and greed in American and European economies.
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