By Martin J. Bull, James L. Newell (eds.)
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Extra resources for Corruption in Contemporary Politics
These qualities give the holder of a public office the power to act or not, to add or subtract bureaucratic prerequisites and preconditions. Public officials and sectors vulnerable to corruption in Greece can thus be listed as follows: (a) Services provided by officials with the authority to issue licences of various types such as those for driving, construction, trading and so forth – provided that applicants have to meet certain criteria or have certain qualities. 1 (c) Tax inspectors and other officials charged with monitoring the underground economy and prosecuting tax evaders.
They do so either because they see the practices as necessary if they are to do their jobs successfully, or because they see them as necessary in order to by-pass excessively bureaucratic administrative procedures. Generally, there is still a tendency to believe that it is only through a recourse to corruption that tasks can be fulfilled (Ethnos tis Kyriakis 2001). The second phenomenon is related to public attitudes towards politicians and politics in general. People seem to be influenced by the cultural atmosphere described above, because of the behaviour patterns of state functionaries.
In classical Athens euthenoi (or ‘accountables’) monitored the income resources of public functionaries after they had resigned from public offices, the latter usually being filled on a rotation basis. In modern Greece, one of the first laws against corruption dates back to the War of Independence in the 1820s and provided for a range of sanctions against public officials (such as judges and ministers) found guilty of the crime. Investigating the causes and dynamics of corruption in a country requires taking account of the contribution of the country’s culture to perpetuation of the phenomenon.
Corruption in Contemporary Politics by Martin J. Bull, James L. Newell (eds.)