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Pessl, Fritz

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Salzburger Nachrichten - Austria | 13/12/2010

Austria must fight corruption

According to a survey by the anti-corruption organisation Transparency International one in ten Austrians pays a bribe at least once a year. This puts Austria above the EU average. The Christian-liberal daily Salzburger Nachrichten calls for clear rules in the fight against corruption: "How can leading politicians and captains of industry demand strict obedience to the law from 'the man on the street' when they themselves are being implicated in criminal dealings with growing frequency? We're somehow left with the impression that a certain dose of roguery is inherent to the Austrian mentality and a grey zone is nothing short of desirable. ... So clear rules become all the more vital in the fight against corruption. ... The new chief witness regulations which come into effect on January 1, 2011 (immunity for informers) are a first step in the right direction. The appointment of additional staff at the authority that prosecutes white-collar crime is a second. Further steps must urgently follow: clear legal upper limits for 'gifts', stricter control mechanisms, more transparency and open communication."

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