From holding 80th place in the 176 countries on Transparency International's corruption perceptions index in 2011, Greece's global ranking, this year, fell to 94, the global watchdog announced on Wednesday. In terms of perceived levels of public corruption, Greece was on a par with Moldova and Mongolia. In the 27-strong EU, there was no other state that fared worse.Even more corrupt, but why?
In a country not only mired in a fifth straight year of recession but enduring a third year of unprecedented austerity, where one in three now lives below the poverty line and a quarter of the population is unemployed, corruption is a means to an end. It is, say analysts, the flipside of austerity in an economy in freefall. "To survive in such a hostile situation, you have to bend the rules," said political commentator Giorgios Kyrtsos. "There is no other way when things are so hard – you are forced to resort to corruption to deal with the state mechanism."Austerity has created a nation no longer on the road to ruin, but taking up residence there. The only solution forced upon the pople, of course, as Atrios has repeatedly stated, is more austerity. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]