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Global Corruption Barometer 2007: corruption definitely minimized in Luxembourg

If the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) issued by Transparency International, was not bad for Luxembourg (12 / 179 countries in 2007), according to the Global Corruption Barometer 2007 issued as well by Transparency International, 6 % of respondents in Luxembourg reported they paid a bribe to obtain a service. To be compared to 1 % of respondents in France or Switzerland, 2 % in the UK or in the Netherlands and 5% European average. Luxembourg is in the third quintile (6 – 18%) with countries like Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Malaysia, Panama, Russia, Turkey, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

But this percentage does not take into account influences and friendships to obtain a service in the framework of the local networks. Only paid services are assessed in the survey. But corruption may result of mutual services: I do what my fellow friend wants; he will give me back later the service. This may be definitely as well corruption when the service is for example to hush up an issue with a judiciary impact (money laundering...) for the one who asks for the service or to vote in favor in a competition of tenders . The mutual service may not be needed : once someone has accepted to do something he/she may be "locked" for the future in a kind of blackmail.

Should influences and friendships be taken into account, Luxembourg would definitely move to the first quintile (More than 32%) because of the conflicts of interests that can't help turning into corruption all the more than:

1) professionals are not aware of offences : when the local professionals stated officially that “offences such as forgery, use of forgery, false balance sheets, use of false balance sheets or unauthorised use of corporate property should not be included. These are offences with financial connotations which are confused with laundering for the sole purpose of applying exceptional powers to these vague offences” (See for instance the ABBL Annual Report 2003, p. 21), the question is how these people may be aware of what corruption is? Corruption must be as well a vague offence from their point of view. Corruption has actualy become standardised; so are standardised bad management and bad governance, which is not acceptable because everything is clear because of the small size (the networks, the conflict of interests...) .

2) there is no TI chapter in Luxembourg to act as a watchdog (but there is one in the UK or in Switzerland the two other European centers with significant offshore assets).

3) like in many small financial centers, the media are not doing there job to investigate, analyse and inform, with the consequence that the decision making processes in those places are equally shoddy and ill-informed. This is what Richard Murphy explained about the Isle of Mans and this is true as well for Luxembourg.

4) Everyone feels the fear to lose contrats or job should he/she dare to say something to repudiate the "system". That's the reason why, despite actual improvement thanks to the Financial Intelligence Units, negligent people - very often those who corrupt the "system" - are unfortunately neither repudiated nor eliminated.

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17:35 Posted in Luxembourg | Permalink | Comments (0)

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