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The political approach for a campaign against corruption by PSI and its affiliates

9 December, 2013
Source: 
PSI
The public often perceives corruption in public services above all as a phenomenon of individual public service employees taking bribes for delivering services or favours to individual citizens. Many citizens of the wealthy and more developed nations believe that corruption is particularly a problem of politicians in poor or developing countries. However, these are only some aspects of corruption, and focussing on them alone obscures the fundamental problem of corruption as a challenge for societies all around the world.

Fundament, purpose and objective of corruption are power and money. Corruption is always related to social inequality and it typically reproduces and exacerbates it. Corruption is a fundamental attack on democracy; it prevents citizens from having equal access to public services and goods; it poisons the faith in public institutions, governments, and democracy itself. Corruption heavily damages any decent economic development as it channels illegally gained profits into private pockets and provides economic advantages to those who pay bribes or benefit from political influence.

The lack of democratic standards, of public control and transparency makes for a perfect breeding ground for corruption – at the same time global economic players exercise widely spread corruption in capitalist democracies. Corruption has many faces, including the one of exerting political influence without direct payment of bribes.

Private companies, business people and politicians hide trillions of US Dollars, often gained though corruption, illegal practices, tax fraud and evasion, in tax havens. This money belongs to the people and we need it back to finance social protection, infrastructure or quality services to the public.

Corruption is in many ways tied to public services, either by them being used for private, political or business interests, or by privatising or abolishing them. Public service workers and their unions have every interest in delivering high quality services to citizens, free of any form of corruption; services that at the same time are designed in such way that the legitimate rights of workers are respected and an appropriate salary is received.

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