Prague, Nov 7 (CTK) – One fifth of Czechs consider bribes a common part of life and they do not hesitate to give money or something else to speed up the procedure in a state institution, get better treatment in hospital or pass the vehicle safety test in a MOT test station, daily Pravo writes Saturday, citing surveys.
But experts say similar bribes or gifts are worth maximally tens of thousands of crowns, while firms fighting for huge public orders offer much higher sums, the paper writes.
The surveys by the GfK and CVVM polling agencies showed that two out of five people declare that they would never give a bribe.
Firms got used to include bribes, mostly worth 10 to 16 percent of the price of the public contract, in the calculation of their costs, Pravo writes.
The government economic council NERV concluded in 2011 that firms paid 30 to 40 billion crowns in bribes a year.
“Especially young people got used to it. They consider bribes something common, which is part of life, they permanently hear about it in media after all,” financial consultant Frantisek Machacek told the paper.
A survey that the Median agency conducted for the public Czech Radio (CRo) showed that one in five people, especially young people, is ready to give money to doctors and two out of three are ready to give doctors small gifts, Pravo writes.
Health is crucial for maintaining one´s family and job. As people are afraid of not being healthy, they are willing to pay to improve their chances of receiving good quality medical care. They know that there are various medicines and various medical procedures, the paper writes.
But sociologists point out that one must differentiate between bribes and expressions of gratitude. Patients often give small presents to doctors or nurses to show they were grateful for the kindness or good care they received after undergoing a successful treatment.
However, the space for bribe giving and corruption is slowly narrowing. Many corruption affairs were revealed and many people were charged, and wiretappings were used to prove the crime, which has discouraged people from offering or accepting bribes. The government´s effort to make tax payment more transparent plays a role as well, Pravo writes.
On the other hand, all Czech governments in the last 20 years proclaimed that they were fighting corruption, but none of them scored a considerable success. Ambitious plans were not pushed through due to disputes between coalition parties and lack of support in parliament, the paper writes.
Fight against corruption nevertheless remains among issues that people want to support. Despite the readiness of one fifth of the citizens to give a bribe, a majority of them considers corruption a bad thing that leads to inequality in society, Pravo writes.