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With economic uncertainty growing in Europe, many observers say they fear corruption could make the economies of troubled nations more vulnerable, and could increase the time required to overcome the current problems. They note that few countries in Europe regulate lobbying of government officials, and most provide easy access to public information which has helped a culture of corruption to grow. The group, Transparency International says these factors allow political and business leaders to divert public funds with ease. They point out that this corruption is creating more problems because public money is being spent inefficiently and be skimmed off at a time when record high unemployment is reducing government revenues.

The organization pointed out that audit procedures in those countries are also weak, because laws do not require independent audits, which means public officials know how they can get away with cutting corners. The report said the countries experiencing the most financial troubles have major problems with their method of public administration. The biggest concern is that officials are rarely held accountable for their actions. Their actions are not technically illegal, but leaders often use their influence to win contracts for friends and influence policies. The problem is confounded by parliamentary bodies failing to enforce current laws, or enacting more effective policies. Transparency International summed up their observations saying, “The links between corruption and the ongoing financial and fiscal crisis in these countries can no longer be ignored.” --Jim L. Wilson and Jim Sandell

--Corruption in Europe could slow recovery: study, http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/06/us-eu-corruption-idUSBRE85509920120606; June 6, 2012,

Proverbs 14:32 GNB “Wicked people bring about their own downfall by their evil deeds, but good people are protected by their integrity.”

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