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EU Commission: Corruption Across EU Costs €120 Billion 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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EU Commission: Corruption Across EU Costs €120 Billion

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  • by Plammox ( 717738 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @03:31AM (#46147781)
    Hello? The least corrupt countries (Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg and Sweden) are the ones with the largest welfare systems.
  • by nbauman ( 624611 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @05:10AM (#46148023) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by sir-gold ( 949031 ) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @05:50AM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @06:05AM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @06:17AM (#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.

Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. -- Christopher Lascl