The European Commission for Home Affairs released a study that found the European Union loses at least $162 Billion (€120 Billion) to corruption each year.
More than 75 percent of citizens in EU member states believe that corruption is widespread in their country. More than half also stated that they felt corruption was increasing in their country.
The top countries where citizens expected to pay bribes to officials were in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. In these countries, between 6 to 29 percent of people surveyed reported that they had either been asked for a bribe or was expected to pay a bribe within the last year. In many of the incidents, the bribes were prevalent in the healthcare industry. An example was previously reported in about the corruption in Romania’s healthcare industry.
The lowest rate of bribes were reported in the United Kingdom, where less than 1 percent reported that they either paid a bribe or were expected to.
In a survey of businesses, four out of 10 companies stated that corruption was an obstacle to doing business in the EU.
(More on the effects of corruption.)
Source: “Corruption across EU ‘breathtaking’ – EU Commission,” BBC News, February 3, 2014.
In 2012, criminal justice agencies in Greece conducted raids against 1,000 establishments that were operating illegal casinos. The raids resulted in nearly 11,000 casino machines being seized and around 5,000 people for illegal gambling activities.
In the first 5 months of 2013, police closed down 363 illegal casinos in Greece. The raids in the first 5 months of 2013 resulted in 4,014 video lottery terminals being seized and 1,889 people being arrested.
Source: Stathis Kousounis, “Illegal casinos depriving Greek state of considerable revenues,” ekathimerini.com, August 13, 2013.
According to a survey by the Center of Planning and Economic Research, the government of Greece is lost up to $780.5 Million (€600 Million) in tax revenue in 2011 to 2012 due to cigarette smuggling activities.
The Finance Ministry stated that there was a drop of 11 percent in tobacco revenue between 2011 and 2012.
Up to 18.6 percent of all tobacco consumed in Greece was purchased on the black market.
Source: Margarita Papntoniou, “Tobacco Smuggling Soars In Greece,” Greek Reporter, June 29, 2013.
An investigation conducted by the Committee of Institutions and Transparency of the Greece Parliament found that the annual turnover in illegal gambling in the country is $7.7 Billion (€6 Billion). Out of that total, $1.29 Billion (€1 Billion) of betting is on the Internet.
Source: Maria Arkouli, “Six Billion Annual Loss From Illegal Betting,” Greek Reporter.com, May 29, 2013.
The Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there were over 250,000 drug addicts in Greece at the start of 2013. Over 10,000 of the drug addicts inject themselves with the use of needles.
The rise of injecting drug users (IDU) in Greece has caused the rate of HIV infections to rise, according to public health programsl. In 2010, there were between 10 to 15 new HIV infections amongst drug users in Greece each year. In 2011, the number of infections rose to 256. In the first six months of 2012, new HIV infection cases hit 314 cases.
HIV infections are also spreading due to many drug addicts turning to prostitution to feed their daily habits. A prostitute recently discovered that she was HIV positive after men would pay more to have sex without a condom.
The prostitute stated that most of her clients are married middle aged Greek men who pay between $12 to $19 (10 to 15 Euros) for sex.
(More prostitute sex prices worldwide.)
Source: Fragkiska Megaloudi, “Crisis Changes Habits of Drug Addicts; Death Toll Rising in Greece,” Greek Reporter, January 7, 2013.
An international human smuggling ring was broken up by Europol in November 2012 that was smuggling people from Iran in to various countries of the European Union.
According to criminal justice officials, the human smugglers were charging migrants $$23,315 (€18,000) to be transported by car from Iran into Turkey and Greece, where the migrants would then move across the EU.
Source: “Iranian human smuggling ring busted in Europe,” Kuwait News Agency, November 27, 2012.
In the summer of 2011, the Government of Greece was owed taxes by its citizens in an amount of $58 Billion (45 Billion Euros).
As of October 2012, the government has collected just $24 Million (19 Million Euros) in tax revenue.
Source: Jannis Papadimitriou, “Greece fights eternal battle against tax evasion,” Deutsche Welle, October 25, 2012.
In 2010 and 2011, an estimated $4.4 Billion (3.5 Billion Euros) worth of smuggled cigarettes were sold in Greece, according to the Associated of Hellenic Tobacco Industries. The sale of black market cigarettes represented about 15 percent of the total cigarette market in Greece.
Previously, it was reported that the Government of Greece was losing $654 Million (500 Euros) in tax revenue due to cigarette smuggling.
Source: Anestis Dokas, “Smuggled cigarettes tak up 15 pct of market,” ekathimerini.com, September 2, 2012.
Between $6.2 Billion to $12.5 Billion (5 to 10 Billion Euros) is illegally lent to consumers in Greece each year by loan sharks. The loan shark industry quadrupled in size between 2009 and 2012, with some lenders charging customers annualized interest rates starting at 60 percent.
The Ministry of Finance in Greece stated that most of the illegal lending syndicates are rackets connected to organized crime groups in the Balkans and Eastern Europe.
(More examples of extortion and racketeering by organized crime.)
Source: Robert Saviano, “Where the Mob Keeps Its Money,” New York Times, August 25, 2012.