The head of an anti-corruption watchdog says endangered eurozone countries “will lose out double” due to a lack of public scrutiny while selling off assets.
Speaking on euronews’ On The Frontline, Cobus de Swardt, Managing Director of Transparency International, said the citizens of Greece, Portugal and Ireland will loose out because corruption will result in them not getting a fair price for the billions of state assets they are selling off to pay their debts.
“They won’t get what they should get for their assets, and the money that should go to recovery will often end in the pockets of those that will use it for their personal gain,” he said.
The South African sociologist referred to three key elements which led to the problem; “One a lack of public accountability particularly on public financing, secondly a lack of participation of the general population to hold those in power to account, and thirdly very importantly, impunity for those that break the law.”
De Swardt, said that all three of these were present in the countries which have been hit hardest by the debt crisis and that has fuelled illegal activity and corruption.
In spite of the dark scenario he paints, de Swardt has no doubt that without Europe, as it exists today, the fight against corruption would be more difficult.