Henry Kirby in London -
Czechs have little faith in public institutions and believe corruption to be widespread in many key areas of the public sector, according to new research by Prague-based polling company the Public Opinion Research Centre.
The study, published on April 10, asked a sample of 1,045 Czech citizens to rate various public institutions according to how corrupt or susceptible to bribery they deem them to be. As the first bne:Chart shows, the majority of Czechs since the survey began in 2004 believe either the majority of or all public officials are corrupt or in receipt of bribes.
The latest poll in 2015 showed a slight improvement from the previous year’s one, with 27% of respondents believing that either very few or less than half of public officials engage in corrupt activity, up 7 percentage points from just 20% in 2014. That is likely due to the 2014 formation of a coalition government made up of the Czech Social Democratic Party and the new centrist ANO party of billionaire Andrej Babis, which fought the latest election on an anti-corruption platform.
A massive 75% of respondents in 2014 believed that either the majority of or almost all public officials were corrupt – the highest proportion of negative responses since the study began in 2004 – as trust in government reached a nadir when former prime minister Petr Nečas' government collapsed in the summer of 2013 in a welter of spying and bribery allegations.
When asked how corrupt they believe different areas of the public sector to be, respondents cited political parties, agencies responsible for EU subsidies and central government as the most corrupt.
However, public mistrust of the government predates the 2013 corruption scandal, as the third bne:Chart shows. Political parties and central government agencies have consistently been considered the most corrupt public institutions since 2001.
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