greed placard sick and tired of
bribe  implement infuriate
furious tarnish reputation
campaign transparent mark (2)
admit (2) to place  concern (2)
join farce impression
keen laggard governance
struggle structure a long way to go
haven impact developing country
radical register anti-trust
rebirth donation measure (2)
asset recover money laundering
flow illicit rule of law




Demonstrators in Madrid say they are sick and tired of government corruption. At a recent protest, they held up placards designed like Spanish sausages: a symbol of waste and greed.

Reports of million-euro bribes, luxury trips and illegal donations have infuriated Spaniards and tarnished the reputation of Spain’s governing party.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has admitted that the government must do more to fight the problem.

But Spaniards are actually better off than most.

Transparency International recently placed Spain 37th in the world corruption stakes.

It says Denmark is the least corrupt country, followed by New Zealand.

Germany kept its spot near the top in twelfth place. Greece came in at 69th, improving on last year, whilst Sudan, North Korea and Somalia have the most corruption.

Transparency also gave bad marks to China and Turkey. It says those two countries have seen corruption grow the most.

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Journalist: For more on all this let’s bring Edda Muller. She’s the chairwoman of Transparency International, Germany.

Thank you very much for joining us.

This case of China is an interesting one, because the government there has an anti-corruption campaign going on at the moment and yet your organization said that corruption has increased.

So is the campaign just a farce?

Edda Muller: “The perception of corruption has increased, so people who are dealing with China and other countries say what their own impression is.

So we think that China is keen in fighting corruption at the central level, but they have a lot of problems to our understanding to implement this at the lower regional level.

So they are still a long way to go to improve the situation concerning corruption.”

Journalist: “And there are also a lot of problems according to your study here in Europe: Greece, Italy and Spain are the laggards. Their economies have also been struggling so is it fair then to make some connection between corruption and economic weakness?”

Edda: “Yes, we can see that good governance or bad governance and corruption always goes together.”

And this also has a great impact on economic development.

So we see this in developing countries. We see this also in Europe.

So to increase the rule of law, to increase free opinion, freedom of speech, all these things go together and so we cannot only fight corruption, but we also have to improve good governance structures in these countries.

Journalist: In your study, you have called for these sorts of improvements. You’ve called for radical measures in the fight against corruption, what would such measures look like? How would we get there?

Edda: Money laundering is one of the key problems because if you get corruption and bribery, you would like to put your money elsewhere.

So we need a higher transparency of our financial system. We need a public register of those who own money in the banks, anti-trust for instance.

And we need the rebirth the rule of approval, for instance we need to know who has been corrupt, to make a kind of recovered of assets to bring it back to the countries.

So these are the issues we have to improve because if we could not fight corruption and money laundering, we will not be able to able to dry all these safe havens of illicit financial flows in the world.

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1. Many people in Madrid, Spain have been protesting. Why have they been protesting?

2. Is Spain a very corrupt country? Which countries have very little corruption and which countries have high levels of corruption?

3. What is Transparency International? What do they do? What is their aim?

4. What is the situation in China? Is the government fighting corruption?

5. There is a relationship between governance, corruption and the economy. Is this true or false?

6. What suggestions and solutions does the chairwoman of Transparency International give?

7. What does she say about money laundering?
A. Do people in your city complain about corruption?

B. Give examples of corruption.

C. What causes corruption?

D. What is the solution to corruption?

E. What do you think will be the future of corruption? Will it be reduced, get worse or stay the same?


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