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EU Commission: Corruption Across EU Costs €120 Billion

Unknown Lamer posted about 10 months ago | from the i'd-like-to-buy-a-law dept.

EU 196

cold fjord writes with news that the EU has completed its first report on corruption in member states, and the results aren't looking too good. From the article: "'The extent of corruption in Europe is 'breathtaking' and it costs the EU economy at least 120bn euros (£99bn) annually, the European Commission says. EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem has presented a full report on the problem. She said the true cost of corruption was 'probably much higher' than € 120bn. Three-quarters of Europeans surveyed for the Commission study said that corruption was widespread, and more than half said the level had increased. 'The extent of the problem in Europe is breathtaking, although Sweden is among the countries with the least problems,' Ms Malmstroem wrote in Sweden's Goeteborgs-Posten daily. The cost to the EU economy is equivalent to the bloc's annual budget. For the report the Commission studied corruption in all 28 EU member states. The Commission says it is the first time it has done such a survey. "

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... meanwhile in USA ... (0, Offtopic)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 10 months ago | (#46147389)

We do not have "corruption commission" in the States, therefore we do not have any solid figure of how much corruption is costing the American taxpayers.

However, there are cases that are so notorious that they can't keep it secret any longer ... such as that obamacare website that cost the taxpayers hundreds of millions - a website assigned to a company without any open bidding, and the company just so happened (yeah, right) to belong to a university classmate of Michelle Obama.

Re:... meanwhile in USA ... (1)

mattydont (849321) | about 10 months ago | (#46147427)

I thought Edward Snowden was part of the corruption commission...... Or are we just talking financial corruption?

Re:... meanwhile in USA ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147473)

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you are anti-Obama, but you still think you are being impartial and simply reasonable in taking the opportunity to make that post.

Re: ... meanwhile in USA ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147495)

Honestly when you are talking about schools like Yale and Harvard there are a lot if business leaders and others in positions of power who "just so happened to be classmates." Simply having been classmates with someone when we are talking about top level Ivy League Universities doesnt IMHO even rise to the level of being any more than coincidental, certainly not suspicious.

The no bid contract on the other hand (nearly always suspicious and ALWAYS bad for taxpayers) coupled with the facts that they were tremendously under-qualified for this type of work and were unproven in being able to handle such a large scale web development project do, coupled with the previous information, rise to the level, IMO, of being extremely fucking likely to be some sort of unscrupulous run-of-the-mill government cronyismish corruption.

Re: ... meanwhile in USA ... (1)

letherial (1302031) | about 10 months ago | (#46147787)

"of being extremely fucking likely to be some sort of unscrupulous run-of-the-mill government cronyismish corruption."

What you might call corruption is just another day in DC, We cant elect someone not already infected by this corruption.

Re:... meanwhile in USA ... (1, Insightful)

SlippyToad (240532) | about 10 months ago | (#46147513)

such as that obamacare website that cost the taxpayers hundreds of millions - a website assigned to a company without any open bidding

I thought smart people came to Slashdot. I didn't realize Fixed News Fuckwits were paid to troll here too.

You should have sharted. It would have been more useful than your ODS garbage.

Re:... meanwhile in USA ... (2)

umdesch4 (3036737) | about 10 months ago | (#46147699)

Pardon my ignorance, as I'm not American, but I'm confused about this. I thought that the two parts of the contention that you quoted were the "true" parts. Ie. that the website cost taxpayers millions, and that it was a no-bid contract. The part I thought was debunked was that there was any connection between Michelle Obama and this former classmate. Yet, you were modded insightful for calling the OP a fuckwit based on his first two premises...multiple times. What did I miss...?

Re:... meanwhile in USA ... (2)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 10 months ago | (#46147801)

you have to read between the lines. OP was a douche. Nobody likes douches. Myself, I don't know any europeans with corruption, so I can't speak to the accuracy of this report.

Re:... meanwhile in USA ... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147965)

The website was made by a company that was contracted under the bush administration to do general IT service work for the government. They did a piss poor job at substantial expense, to be sure, but it was not a no-bid contract - they were one of four [snopes.com] eligible companies which bid on the contract for the website.

The no-bid and Michelle Obama nonsense is parroted by people who consume right wing news (propaganda) and mistakenly believe it to be true.

Re:... meanwhile in USA ... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147733)

In the first bidding round CGI apparently won a competitive bidding between 4 companies (CGI, IBM, QSSI, and Computer Sciences).

However, after CMS dumped CGI, it brought on Accenture. Technically, the way that Accenture was hired was a no-bid contract (because the normal government bidding process rules were bypassed because they would have taken at least 6 months and that delay would have been disaster). Since there was no competitive bidding, it's impossible to know what happened, but the smart money is on CMS noting that the California website was working and they picked Accenture.

The real question is though why did Accenture want to do it now (it's a paltry $90M contract) when they weren't one of the original bidding companies? The smart money is that they were promised something bigger if they fixed the mess and what that will be the real story that we will discover what that will cost later...

Re:... meanwhile in USA ... (1)

umdesch4 (3036737) | about 10 months ago | (#46147747)

Thanks for that. I guess I have some more reading to do. This whole story just gets crazier every time I hear a new piece of it.

Chump (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46148147)

"I thought smart people came to Slashdot. I didn't realize Fixed News Fuckwits were paid to troll here too."

Yes, because Obamacare has been a blessing, it is all wonder and majesty.

Meanwhile the website still doesn't work, and the law has thrown more people off insurance than it has insured, and Obama administration has promised $1T to the insurance companies.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12... [nytimes.com]

The only "fuckwit" here are softheaded people like you hate real facts about the biggest failure in domestic policy.... ever.

Re:... meanwhile in USA ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147557)

Who needs corruption? We've got lobbyists!

Re:... meanwhile in USA ... (2, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 10 months ago | (#46147731)

Oh please Bush and Obama are amateurs compared to DOD. We are talking BILLIONS in price hikes, overruns,kick backs, look up what went on with the M114 or M60A2 to see how REAL pros do that corruption, sheeit they knew they were turkeys before they had even left the testing ground and STILL bought it, or the M247 Sergeant York where not a damned thing worked and it failed to even hit a stationary target yet STILL got sold, because the fix was in!

So you can wave your little donkey and elephant flags all you want, the guys making the REAL money don't change every election, they stay right there in DC making bank on gov side then the lobby side.

Re:... meanwhile in USA ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147999)

I'd like to add to your list the M2 (Bradley). Which I would have never known about had they not made that movie.

Re:... meanwhile in USA ... (4, Insightful)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 10 months ago | (#46148087)

We do not have "corruption commission" in the States, therefore we do not have any solid figure of how much corruption is costing the American taxpayers.

I hear you guys call this "campaign contribution". Maybe that will help you find some figures -- I am told they are rather outlandish.

Relation to Debt Crisis? (2)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | about 10 months ago | (#46147395)

Why are countries most affected by the debt crisis also the most corrupt?

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about 10 months ago | (#46147421)

You haven't seen corruption until you've done business with China.

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147475)

You haven't seen corruption until you've done business with China.

Way to stay totally relevant dude.

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147503)

Try Montréal. If we're not #1, we're at least a #2 behind China.

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (4, Funny)

Jade_Wayfarer (1741180) | about 10 months ago | (#46147577)

Russian here. I just had a laugh of the day, thanks )

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147671)

Russian here. I just had a laugh of the day, thanks )

Even so, you should queue behind India.

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147853)

Egypt is a contender!

So is almost all of sub Saharan Africa.

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46148113)

I agree with the sub saharan Africa comment. In South Africa our current president, Jacob Zuma, recently upgraded his mansion with "security upgrades" to the value of at least five times more than the total estate of Nelson Mandela. In the past six years the Zuma family has become the richest family in the entire country.

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 10 months ago | (#46148167)

President of Shmuckovia (yelling from the presidential balcony): "People! People! Relief is here! I am taking the extraordinary measure of canceling the debt of the People! All debts are null and void! No longer will you be crushed by debt as a result of..."

President's Advisor (in hushed and secretive tone): "My President! What are you doing! This is just a peace rally! Gah! We're doomed, you fool!"

President of Shmuckovia (obviously confused): But...but...I HAD TO DO SOMETHING! You said the peasants were revolting!"

 

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147633)

Yeah, China, I heard that one before....
wasn`t that that cuntry that got sold the AWACS that the Israelis stole from AMERICA?

Some corrupt dude emptied all Al Capones secret accounts when Al got detained, he had a Chinees-soundin name, somethin like Mai, yeah, Mai-somethin.. Lanx Yee or sumthin Mai err LAN SKI.....
Stuxman or somethin..... Stuxnet? Abe Foxcomm, Foxman, thats it!
"FOXCOMM wired-up the Capitol Building, then came along Sheila Birnbaum consulting for Corning, Corning then acquires aforementioned FOXCOMM" -someone trying to make PrimeSense on his iphone show his location as "inside" the jEUROCRAZY!

China?!?! umbfk

Re: Relation to Debt Crisis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147755)

Go home. You are drunk. Or worse.

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147461)

Why are countries most affected by the debt crisis also the most corrupt?

Good question. Another question would be why countries which are most corrupt are also the countries most affected by the debt crisis.

Re: Relation to Debt Crisis? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147721)

I thought it was obvious that corruption is a huge money sink.

Re: Relation to Debt Crisis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147771)

I thought it was obvious that corruption is a huge money sink.

Rather. And I would have that this was obviously the point of my rephrasing GP's question in the direction of putative causality.

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147531)

It's a natural consequence of the welfare state. Once citizens depend on Santa Claus politicians for their bennies, the politicians power becomes insurmountable; they're immune, so they abuse their positions.

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (5, Insightful)

MachDelta (704883) | about 10 months ago | (#46147595)

...which is why those hardcore libertarians running Sweden are counted "among the countries with the least problems," right?

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 10 months ago | (#46147907)

Okay, so from context, I'm guessing that something in that post was ironic/sarcastic. Not sure which part, though, not being all that familiar with Sweden. What do you mean?

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46148179)

Sweden has one of the most socialist governments and one of the most extensive welfare states in europe...

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46148187)

Sweden has one of the most extreme welfare states in the world, as do some of the other countries with very low corruption figures (and some that are hugely corrupt). There does not appear to be a correlation between the two. Welfare states have some huge drawbacks (as well as some benefits), but corruption does not seem to be among them.

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (5, Interesting)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 10 months ago | (#46148075)

It all depends on how you measure corruption. The study seems to have measured how many Europeans have come into direct contact with corruption, i,e, offering or being offered a bribe. My country (the Netherlands) scores quite well on that score; no need to pay of anyone at city hall unless you want to get something done in real estate or construction. Bribery is so uncommon here that the vast majority of people never suspect that a bribe is asked for when their request is turned down. But below the surface, where most ordinary citizens don't venture, it exists. Some have compared the nature and level of corruption here to that of Japan.

The study does lighlight such factors, and as far as I know Sweden also has a lot less of this hidden corruption compared to NL. Not because they are a nanny state, but because of functional transparency laws. In the Netherlands, comparatively few people bother to check on their government, and when they do, they find transparency laws that are ranked amongst the worst in the world. Corrpution exists where it is profitable, undetected or unpunished. In that light, I shudder to think about what we can find in the EU offices themselves...

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (1)

TheHonch (1390893) | about 10 months ago | (#46148175)

I slipped when modding... Why is there no undo?

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147601)

It always comes back to beneficiaries with you RWNJs, doesn't it?

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (1)

sir-gold (949031) | about 10 months ago | (#46147625)

What does welfare have to do with corruption? It's not the poor welfare recipients that are bribing the politicians.

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (1)

khallow (566160) | about 10 months ago | (#46147875)

What does welfare have to do with corruption? It's not the poor welfare recipients that are bribing the politicians.

Rather the other way around. I suppose it's one of the reasons I've never cared for this variety of welfare. The poor aren't being bribed in favor of my interests.

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (2, Informative)

sir-gold (949031) | about 10 months ago | (#46148143)

That is the fundamental difference between liberals and conservatives. Liberals are concerned about meeting the interests of the most people possible, conservatives are only concerned with their own personal interests.

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46148225)

You seem to be confusing conservatives with socialists.

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (5, Informative)

Plammox (717738) | about 10 months ago | (#46147781)

Hello? The least corrupt countries (Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg and Sweden) are the ones with the largest welfare systems.

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (-1, Troll)

Apotekaren (904220) | about 10 months ago | (#46147945)

Well, least corrupted if you look at how corruption is defined in the laws of the land. A lot of the corruption is legalized by law(state sanctioned or state run monopolies, or oligopolies run by politicians) and thus not counted towards the corruption score in international rankings.

Funny that, just invent a BS reason for a protection racket(protecting the state's or your own profits, not the people...) and BANG! Not corruption, just the way the country is run.

BTW, in socialist countries, welfare is a kind of bribe, it keeps the poor masses living on those welfare payment in line, making sure they keep voting for the political parties who keep promising them the best short-term deal.

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (1)

Zembar (803935) | about 10 months ago | (#46148029)

Saying that everything that you disagree with is corruption does not make it so.

Also, by your definition, promising to lower taxes during an election is also a bribe.

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (5, Insightful)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about 10 months ago | (#46148151)

BTW, in socialist countries, welfare is a kind of bribe, it keeps the poor masses living on those welfare payment in line, making sure they keep voting for the political parties who keep promising them the best short-term deal.

Because Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg and Sweden are well known for their "poor masses".

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (1)

Plammox (717738) | about 10 months ago | (#46148177)

Well, least corrupted if you look at how corruption is defined in the laws of the land. A lot of the corruption is legalized by law(state sanctioned or state run monopolies, or oligopolies run by politicians) and thus not counted towards the corruption score in international rankings.

That's a lot of conjecture in one post. But then again, conservative shills with their ritual hate of wealth redistribution would write something like that.

Would you care to give some examples from the countries in question? (SE, LU, FI, DK)

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (2)

Kjella (173770) | about 10 months ago | (#46148207)

Well, least corrupted if you look at how corruption is defined in the laws of the land. A lot of the corruption is legalized by law(state sanctioned or state run monopolies, or oligopolies run by politicians) and thus not counted towards the corruption score in international rankings. Funny that, just invent a BS reason for a protection racket(protecting the state's or your own profits, not the people...) and BANG! Not corruption, just the way the country is run. BTW, in socialist countries, welfare is a kind of bribe, it keeps the poor masses living on those welfare payment in line, making sure they keep voting for the political parties who keep promising them the best short-term deal.

Well people giving votes for money and politicans giving money for votes is more like two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner, but it's not corruption. Forget the government for a moment, if you want to say win a contract and it doesn't matter how good or bad your bid is only how much you bribe the person in charge, that's corruption. It's a form of fraud where the person doesn't do what he's hired to do, he's secretly lining his personal account at the expense of his employer. The money isn't taken from the employer directly but it's the company or government stuck with the bad bid who is ultimately paying the price, the ones paying the bribe will recover it through inflated prices and shoddy quality. Like a store clerk cooperating with shoplifters to empty the store for a cut of the profit.

Very often the bribe is simply to get them to do their job like you're supposed to get a permit assuming your papers are all correct, but unless you pay the bribe it's going to get misfiled or lost. Or it's to make them not to something, like corrupt police who'll create some bullshit charges unless you pay them not to get arrested. As bad as the system might be, being constantly hustled that way is much worse. The system tends to be equally unfair for everyone, while the corrupt are all trying to gouge as much as possible out of you. And it's not like it's an either-or, just because the store is a monopolist it doesn't help that it's also robbed blind by corrupt clerks, it just makes you double screwed. Granted, I do feel some of my tax money go to useless paper pushers but I find corruption much, much worse.

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147539)

Good point, the EU erodes National Sovereignty, eroded Sovereignty means more debtmongering by the banksters.
Ukraine might have done the right thing when they borrowed money from Russia rather than the IMF/WorldBank.
Take African countries for example: pre-911 everyone was talking about cancelling 3rd-world debt.......
But they were also talking about reconciling the issues of transatlantic slavery, and the apartheid-state of affairs in israeli. 2weeks later.....BOOM! BANG! WTC7!

Greek corruption was far less in 2001 than in 2011, but hey, everyone loves MarioBros... now in version jEUROCRAZY, it`s Supra-Statal Mario Bros, vis-a-vis Mario Draghi and Mario Monti, with a little bald busted-toothed guy called "Silvio".

Jokes aside, the Schengen-zone (no-borders), coupled with the"incentification" (corruption keyword flag!) of the political-castes on the European Continent to jump on the gravy-train has INCREASED corruption, as evident from the survey/poll results.
Hey, I heard the Turks wanna change their maps to suggest "Europa Minor", and the Greeks want to take Cyprus to the bank!
Fortunately for all you anglophones (no,not AMDOCS!), the Ukrainians, Greeks, France-ppl and Holland-ppl will not be able to figure out what the REFERENDUM isreeli about. (it aint the smoked-Salmond tirade-wars, that 4 sho!)

China is up and coming, and UNLIKE Michael Milkin (godfather of toxic-assets), Brothers Lehmans, Goldsackers and Bernie Madoff, THE CHINESE EXECUTE THEIR CONVICTED CORPORATECRIMS.
Can I get a visa-free-trippin on China?

oh, yeah, the EU ppl are gonna flip out when they hear the phones are tapped (by israeli AMDOCS), their FB is tapped (by israeli AKAMAI), and their iphones dont rotate like they used to (cuz its israeli PrimeSense). Then the corruption issue will pale when compared to the VIOLATIONS OF PRIVACY, NATIONAL SECURITY, AND NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY OF MEMBER-STATES BY THE ISRAELIS AND THEIR NSA STOOGES.

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147649)

Jesus, you're nearly as bad as the second part of "how are babby formed," you know that?

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147549)

You do know that corruption in the US is beyond trillions right?
this compared to the US looks like nickles and dimes, the US doesn't just have a 1 trillion dollar corruption problem it has a 10 if not 30 trillion corruption problem.. (if you want to feel superior, you're not on the winning side)

europe is just 100x more transparent..

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147743)

Corruption causes crisis, and crisis causes more corruption. They are actually strugling to keep any normal activity going. Corruption will take over. It's no wonder Nordic countries are getting a bit tired of paying the lazy currupt basterds of the south. IF they can't get their shit together EU will fall apart.

Re: Relation to Debt Crisis? (2)

madprof (4723) | about 10 months ago | (#46147983)

Because those are the countries whose corrupt inefficient systems lead to bad choices?
Incompetence in doing things like collecting taxes is left to go unchallenged. Money is spent on things that aren't needed because politicians are bribed. Services are unfairly provided due to nepotism.

Re:Relation to Debt Crisis? (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 10 months ago | (#46148119)

Ahh I didn't know Africa had been decimated by the Sub Prime Market crash!

€120 Billion ... So Convenient (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147415)

Hey fuckers!

€120 Billion is 1/3 of a €1 Trillion!

My bet is that the real money is €1 Trillion.

Suck me.

Re:€120 Billion ... So Convenient (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147435)

I think your calculator needs new batteries.

Re:€120 Billion ... So Convenient (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147439)

€120 Billion is 1/3 of a €1 Trillion!

Please check your calculator.

Re: €120 Billion ... So Convenient (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147521)

Ummm.... No it isn't.

I cannot make heads or tails of your comment or even posit a guess as to whether you were serious, trolling, joking, or just plain ignorant...

Or, what in the world, if it is the case that you were infact being serious rather than trolling around, the actual point you were trying to get across.

Re:€120 Billion ... So Convenient (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147627)

Hey fuckers!

Sheesh, people will fuck anything. Do you watch out for needles? They're not so easy to find.

Faaaaaaaaaart (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147423)

Slashdot posts this but has had no stories about the ongoing epic fight at the W3C about EME in HTML5?

News for nerds my ass. More like flamebait political crap on a once-great linux blog.

Re:Faaaaaaaaaart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147447)

So submit a story instead of whining.

Re:Faaaaaaaaaart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147727)

Yeah, because submitting a story guarantees it'll be published.

What a load of bull (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 10 months ago | (#46147463)

You gotta add at least one digit to that.

"probably" much higher? (3, Interesting)

Main Gauche (881147) | about 10 months ago | (#46147489)

120 billion euro? Internets, you so funny.

To put things in perspective:

1. Estimates [forbes.com] of just medicare/medicaid fraud in the US easily approach $100 billion. I'd bet those estimates are conservative.

2. Medicare/medicaid spending is only about a fifth of the US budget. (That doesn't necessarily mean that total US fraud is 5 times the above figure, but suggests it's much larger than $100B.).

3. The Eurozone's GDP is about equal to (slightly larger than) that of the US.

Put it all together, and tell me with a straight face that fraud in the Eurozone is 120 billion euro (about $160 billion). Keep in mind that for every Sweden there's an Italy.
Yeah, it's "probably" much higher, like the Broncos "probably" lost.

Re:"probably" much higher? (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about 10 months ago | (#46147505)

Keep in mind that for every Sweden there's an Italy.

Fraud isn't quite corruption, for example taking bribes is a seperate issue from fraud, though often highly related.

But yes, I'd be shocked if the corruption cost is 'only' 120B Euro for Italy alone.

Re: "probably" much higher? (1)

Damarkus13 (1000963) | about 10 months ago | (#46147529)

The article is about corruption (bribing officials and whatnot) not fraud.

So, that doesn't really put anything in perspective.

Re: "probably" much higher? (4, Insightful)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 10 months ago | (#46147565)

I think Main Gauche is more correct. What you don't see about political corruption is that the losses invest in themselves for more losses down the road. Borrow 1 trillion to stimulate the economy, but you really just paid off your buddies? Well that 1 trillion is gone, but you'll have to pay interest on it constantly. Institute corrupt policies on education, and you reap the losses of having stupider people. Corruption isn't just 100 billion dollar bad. If it was, any steadfast leader would pay it each year to remove it. Corruption is destroy your government, society, and civilization bad, and in the short run people's lives can be ruined.

Re: "probably" much higher? (2)

Damarkus13 (1000963) | about 10 months ago | (#46147685)

I'm not saying corruption is good, I'm just saying fraud != corruption. Medicare fraud, where bills are issued and paid for services that did not take place, is not the same as corruption. The article cited even mentioned that basically all bills are paid, and that they try to find the fraud after the fact. So, no preferential treatment, no deliberate intervention by officials, not corruption. Not good, but not corruption.

Also of note, the $130 billion is not the amount of corruption, it is the cost to the economy in loss of growth.

Re: "probably" much higher? (4, Insightful)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about 10 months ago | (#46147949)

Corruption isn't just 100 billion dollar bad. If it was, any steadfast leader would pay it each year to remove it. Corruption is destroy your government, society, and civilization bad, and in the short run people's lives can be ruined.

Exactly. And that is before we factor in the cost in human lives. For example see the incredible increase in suicide rates in Spain in the wake of its scandalous banking and housing corrupticon, wheremajority of the top bankers and politicians [wikipedia.org] have been implicated or sentenced but not jailed in corruption cases.. It got so bad that the bailed out banks were forced to tone down their house repossessions [huffingtonpost.com] as pensioners were leaping from the windows to their deaths when the police came knocking to throw them out into the street. (tone down, not stop).

Isn't it funny that you almost never see a graphic displaying suicide statistics, especially lately. If there is one statistic a corrupt politician does not want the common folk to see too often, this must be it...

Re:"probably" much higher? (4, Informative)

nbauman (624611) | about 10 months ago | (#46148023)

1. Estimates [forbes.com] of just medicare/medicaid fraud in the US easily approach $100 billion. I'd bet those estimates are conservative.

According to that link, the GAO estimated $48 billion in "improper payments." I suppose that's "approaching" $100 billion, if you are free to take any number and double it.

The GAO didn't say "fraud," they said "improper payments." Big difference.

The author of that article said that Medicare fraud is 10%, but private insurance fraud is only 1.5%. Funny thing, he used to work for the Council for Affordable Health Insurance, which is a private insurance industry lobbyist.

I went to a doctor about a bad knee. He gave me an x-ray, and billed the insurance company
$1,000. When I got home, I read a medical journal article about my knee problem. They said that x-rays aren't necessary. I wonder how much the private insurance industry loses to fraud. I'd like a calculation made by somebody who isn't a lobbyist for the private insurance industry.

Perhaps... (1)

Alex Cane (3296683) | about 10 months ago | (#46147491)

The commision should resign in shame like last time [wikipedia.org] ...

This is what you get (0)

El Puerco Loco (31491) | about 10 months ago | (#46147547)

When you allow Greece and Italy to be part of your organization.

Re:This is what you get (0)

sir-gold (949031) | about 10 months ago | (#46147587)

I don't know about Greece, but whoever who allowed Italy into the eurozone should have known that the birthplace of the mafia would be completely corrupt. Italy had so much surplus corruption that they even exported it to the US.

Re:This is what you get (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147695)

I didnt get that. eurozone means euro-disney-dollar-shekels, right? not LIRA!
FYI, the Italians, with their love of leather shoes and fine wine, DID NOT STEAL...wait for it...... ALL THE REAL MONEY....wait for it..... IN CIRCULATION!

You think Italians are ganxta, you got lessons to learn....
try the old documentary entitled, "The Money Masters", it`s on youtube, it`s 3 hours looooong, but it`s good as gold ore

Re:This is what you get (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147729)

Italy had so much surplus corruption that they even exported it to the US.

Interesting thing about the founding of America, people generally don't sell all their stuff and travel for a couple of weeks to a foreign nation if everything is fine back home. When looking at the history of Europeans that migrated to America there are essentially just two stories: People trying to escape starvation and criminals trying to escape the law.

Re:This is what you get (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147839)

You forgot the most important category: those hoping to exploit the starving criminals and natives.

Re:This is what you get (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147985)

You forgot the most important category: those hoping to exploit the starving criminals and natives.

Not really. The voyage alone was such a hazard that one wouldn't undertake it unless staying at home was even more dangerous.
After traveling became safe you still risked all your life savings (If you had any.) by going there. Those who did were those who'd rather risk it overseas than stay and risk it back home.
It's not really until airplanes became a viable form of transportation that people who weren't in a tough spot started to move between the continents.

Re:This is what you get (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46148209)

You forgot the religious zealots, a major early group of migrants that is still very influential in contemporary American society.

Re:This is what you get (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 10 months ago | (#46148121)

Obviously you didn't get the Bunga Bunga Party invite :D

Let's call it lobbing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147589)

and problem solved.

Re:Let's call it lobbing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147657)

Europe has lots of lobbying in addition to corruption. In fact, European corporations receive even more in government handouts than US corporations.

Re:Let's call it lobbing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147791)

On the other hand, these corporations don't have the NSA doing their industrial espionage for them.

120Billion? (1, Insightful)

hackus (159037) | about 10 months ago | (#46147689)

Try like 38 Trillion if you do a little Math on the LIBOR rigging.

None of these people EVER go to jail.

Remember that when you go to get a small business loan and want to work for yourself, instead of going on Welfare and working 50 hour weeks at 4 different jobs.

Sorry we can't give you a loan, you are not Microsoft, or McDonalds.

Re:120Billion? (1)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about 10 months ago | (#46147967)

Shhhhh. Don't you know there is a media ban on talking about the Libor corruption case. Last thing we want is the peasants rising up demanding true never-do-this-again type justice to rein down on those financial big-wigs who perpetrated this theft. I mean, the peasants only got cheated out of their life savings on their home loans it is not like it was a real crime... Oh, look over there Football Champions League, yay!

Re:120Billion? (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about 10 months ago | (#46148131)

None of these people EVER go to jail.

Yep don't start a charity start an investment bank and fuck the Economy that way the Government will pay you for receiving you seven figure bonus.

Did they just patch democracy? (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | about 10 months ago | (#46147745)

Let's see how this plays out....

Too much inclusion (3, Insightful)

hooiberg (1789158) | about 10 months ago | (#46147757)

That is what happens when the EU keeps including all kinds of countries in south and eastern Europe that do not have their affairs in order. Where human rights are for those who can afford them and where government employees need the extra tidbits to make a living. And north western Europe pays the cost of it.

Re:Too much inclusion (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147929)

NEWSFLASH!!! Hollande, Franc, and Ireland voted "Nee","Non", and....
  "fuckoff or I`ll Pound yuz"

The rest of the "euroshekel" zone were deceived by newspapers, television, their respective Member-State finance-ministers, tre-usury-officials, and of course the arch-conspiritors, the central bankers to the respective member-States.

Re:Too much inclusion (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 10 months ago | (#46147947)

If that's the cost of bringing those nations up to Western European or even Scandinavian standards then what's the problem?

No one's under any illusion that expansion means bringing countries into the EU with problems, in fact, that's kind of the point. The goal is to sort them out and hence make Europe ever stronger.

I live in Western Europe, I always have, and I'm happy to pay that cost. It's nice to know we're living on an ever more secure and ever more prosperous continent. Far better than the alternative of having constant repeats of Yugoslavia on our borders over and over and over which cost far more again in terms of military effort to contain or defuse the problem, far higher cost in terms of lives, and far higher cost in terms of ever more desperate people emigrating West trying to escape the war not able to bring anything with them, not even an education, because even their schools had been bombed.

Re:Too much inclusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46148115)

If that's the cost of bringing those nations up to Western European or even Scandinavian standards then what's the problem?

It isn't. The problem is that money is annually used to line the pockets of a select few. That's not the European or at least certainly not the Scandinavian standard. Extreme income differences are only more likely to spark things like Yugoslavia once again.

This isn't about improving infrastucture or paying taxes but how the money is used and how legislation is bought, regulatory capture and the revolving door between corporations and government.

Re:Too much inclusion (2)

wertigon (1204486) | about 10 months ago | (#46148085)

In the short term, this is true. Including countries with lesser living standards will cost the EU as a whole.

In the mid-term (10-25 yrs), these countries will adopt some practices from EU-regulation, get an influx of highly educated workers that start to build up the country, all the while exporting cheap labor (both goods and services meaning immigrants coming to clean your house).

In the long term (25+ yrs) we will see a strong economic country with high education and living standards. Not including these countries in the EU is very shortsighted thinking IMO.

I do however agree that the EU cannot expand further until the economy is fixed - unfortunately the Euro is tanking very hard right now, but it may yet be possible to fix it, somehow. Don't blame it all on the poor countries though, that's just racist.

Open Corruption Project? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147799)

When I was in Bruxelles a few years ago, two guys at the next table in the restaurant openly dealt about removing unwanted topics from a meetings agenda. In the end, an envelope was handed over to the gouvernment employee.

Corruption is like rats. The more rats you notice or even see in an area, the bigger the population.

There are people e.g. in the EUs purchase chain that cannot be passed without "additional payments", and all companies involved happily pay and keep their mouth shut out of fear that the will be left out for future contracts. And nobody is going to do anything about the corruption in the EU, as too many people profit from it, at least enough people to effectively prevent any successful control mechanisms.

It's a survey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147857)

The results come from a survey, it's an opinion. We all know media dictates opinions, except in italy: there is no corruption on italian tv's.

Welcome to Democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46147869)

Same as dictatorship but we give you the ilusion of choice!

Only higher than in the US because... (4, Insightful)

YoungManKlaus (2773165) | about 10 months ago | (#46147937)

tons of stuff that is called corruption over here is seen as harmless lobbying and such on the other side of the pond.

Swiss banking commission... (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about 10 months ago | (#46147963)

EU Commission: Corruption Across EU Costs €120 Billion

Swiss banking commission: Corruption Across EU Earns us interest on €100 Billion

EU is classified as an "Organised Crime Syndicate" (-1, Troll)

lkcl (517947) | about 10 months ago | (#46148071)

The European Union's accounts have not been signed off for over 14 years. no chartered accountancy firm will touch them. what that makes the European Union is an "Organised Crime Syndicate". this is not a hoax or a joke: it is a fact. any organisation that operates outside the law and siphons money from people in an organised fashion is a criminal syndicate. it happens to be illegal to fund Organised Crime. therefore, following the logic through, all the Sovereign States that give the E.U. their citizens' taxes are also breaking the law. it therefore also follows that any citizen of an E.U. Sovereign State is, if they pay taxes, funding Organised Crime and is therefore also breaking the law.

as a citizen of a Sovereign State in the E.U the way to ensure that the law is not broken is therefore to contact a solicitor and arrange for any taxes being paid to be witheld - paid into an escrow account - pending resolution of the criminal activities of the European Union.

Re:EU is classified as an "Organised Crime Syndica (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46148217)

Wow, what a conspiracy theory bullshit. Like any other sovereign state or supranational organization, the EU is not required to be audited by a chartered accountancy, but is audited by the ECA. Every year the ECA signs off the accounts provisionally, the only problem is that the current rules for the EU account audit require a 100% compliance for a full sign off, which is something no entity will ever achieve. You just need one person to lose a single receipt and you are non-compliant. Only so far, nobody has seen the need to figure some more realistic rules, and until then the ECA report every year is an invitation to sensationalist media and conspiracy theorists. There's plenty wrong with the EU, but this really isn't the issue.

And now? (1)

SuperDre (982372) | about 10 months ago | (#46148081)

Great to know corruption costs so much money (as if we didn't know that already)..
But what are they gonna do about it? I guess the won't as the corruption is in high places and they want to continue receiving their scammoney..

Wisdom follows, pay attention! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46148155)

You do not understand what the European Union is. It is not an economic alliance. It's sole purpose is to prevent large war breaking out in Europe (cue WWI and WW2). Efficiency, anti-corruption, economic competitiveness are all tertiary compared to the great aim of peace, complete with doves carrying olive branches, lions and lambs napping together and whatnot.

If the EU ever falls apart, Britain, France and Germany will jump at each other's throat, Russia will invade Eastern Europe and the gunpowder barrel called the Balkans will simply explode. The use of nuclear weapons will lead to WORLDWIDE destruction.

Therefore EU must be kept together, no matter how much it costs and how much of that budget goes to waste. Anyhow, if a corrput person receives millions, he will spend them on Ferrari, yacht, villa and gambling. The money soon returns to the circulation in the economic sphere and no long-term loss is evident.

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