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.
Money laundering in Hungary is estimated to be worth $15 Billion a year.
In the first half of 2013, a total of 6,160 suspicious transactions were reported to federal regulators. The number of reports was 80 percent higher than the previous year.
Out of that total, 66 financial transactions were halted by banking regulators.
(More money laundering examples.)
Source: David Landry, “Reports of money laundering up 80% through June ‘13,” Budapest Business Journal, January 21, 2014.
According to the Tax and Customs Authority in Hungary, security authorities seized 68 million cigarettes that were being sold on the black market. In the first 10 months of 2013, the number of cigarettes seized increased to 85 million.
The price of a pack of cigarettes in Hungary has increase in recent years. In 2011, the price for a pack was $2.76 (600 Hungarian Forints). In 2013, the average price increased to $4.61 (1,000 Forints.)
Source: AFP, “Hungary turns to black market for a smoke,” Google News, December 24, 2013.
An anti-trafficking organization reported that three out of four prostitutes working in the red light district of Amsterdam were from economically distressed communities. Not-for-Sale stated at a conference on women’s rights that 75 percent of the women came from poor communities in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania.
Source: Belinda Goldsmith, “Younger girls forced into prostitution in economic crisis: conference,” Reuters, December 5, 2012.
The counterfeit goods market in Hungary is estimated to cause $4.6 Billion (3 Billion Euros) in economic losses every year, according to the Hungarian Patient Office.
Source: “Counterfeit and Pirated Goods Make Third of Hungary’s Black Market,” Petosevic, December 21, 2010.
Cigarette smuggling in Hungary lead to 6 percent of all cigarettes sales to take place on the black market to avoid taxes in 2010.
Source: “Hungary black market for cigarettes shrinks as crackdown continues,” Budapest Business Journal, December 15, 2010.
Prostitution and the illegal drug trade in Hungary was worth an estimated $1.9 Billion in 2005.
Source: Zoltan Simon, “Hungary Sizes Up Prostitution, Drugs, Boosting GDP,” Bloomberg, September 30, 2009.