The German President, Christian Wulff, finds himself coming under mounting criticism for accepting a loan from the wife of a wealthy businessman; even members of the governing Christian Democratic Party are now asking for his resignation. Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti’s undersecretary, Carlo Malinconico, stepped down on Tuesday after a questions were raised about his connections with a businessman (a businessman who is himself currently being investigated on corruption charges). All of this comes after the chief of Switzerland’s central bank is forced to resign following revelations of a controversial currency trade. Does Europe have a problem with corruption?
Transparency International recently published their annual “Corruption Perceptions Index” report for 2011. In general, European countries appear as some of the least corrupt in the world. People in Western and Northern European countries (with the exception of Ireland and the Baltic states) feel their countries are slightly less corrupt than in 2010, whilst people in Southern and Eastern Europe feel their countries have grown slightly more corrupt since last year. What do YOU think? Are we seeing a problem of poor decision-making, or a problem of “morality” in European politics? And, if there is a problem, what’s the solution? Do we need to ask politicians and policy-makers for greater transparency? Let us know your thoughts on this subject, and we’ll take them to experts and policy-makers for some reactions.