Brussels seeks to cover the holes that cause fiscal practices of large corporations, especially technology. But not only out there the public coffers bleed. Corruption and organized crime cost the European Union 4.8% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) each year, according to a report by the Los Greens group in the European Parliament. In total, the European economy loses 904,000 million euros annually and, only in Spain, that figure rises to 90,000 million.
The report of The Greens The costs of corruption in the EU, which is published today, has been made in accordance with others previously developed at European level. The figure is higher than the Anticorruption Report of the European Commission in 2014, which estimated the drain on illicit practices at 120,000 million. This difference is due, among other reasons, to the fact that the Los Greens report also calculates the losses in tax collection and foreign investment that corruption cases entail.
According to the report, Romania is the country with the highest proportion of corruption with respect to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). These practices amount to 38,600 million euros, 15.6% of its economy. In fact, the country has lived in the last year and a half several demonstrations against corruption cases and, in addition, the European Comission has warned that its latest judicial reforms only serve to undermine judicial independence and the fight against corruption.
Eleven countries are above 10% -between them, Greece, Italy or Hungary-. Spain is at the center of the table, but those 90,000 million, equivalent to 8% of GDP, almost double that in the EU as a whole. Holland It is the country with the least corruption in the EU. It loses 4,400 million euros per year, which is 0.76% of its GDP. At the end of the table are also Luxembourg and Denmark (2%), the United Kingdom (2.3%) and Finland (2.5%).
The deputy of Los Verdes Ernest Urtasun said that the report "puts on the table the systemic size of corruption in Spain." "The figure of 90,000 million euros of direct and indirect costs is scary. In this study we identify that this is a problem and that no country is free of this scourge, with an annual community cost of almost one trillion, that is, almost the GDP of Spain, "he added.
The Greens say what could be done with that amount: end hunger (229,000 million), provide basic education to children in 46 countries (22,000 million), help eliminate malaria (4,000 million) or gradually expand universal health in the countries with low and medium income (115,000 million). "Presenting the numbers in a way compared to some spending programs gives us an order of magnitude of the tragedy," Urtasun said.
The report makes reference to the fact that cases of corruption have come to knock down governments, such as that of Mariano Rajoy in Spain. In half of the member countries, 80% of citizens think, in addition, that corruption is "widespread" in their country.
The Los Greens report on corruption aims to be very graphic. And in the case of Spain, he points out that with the money that evaporates every year due to corruption, 22.9 billion Big Mac's could be bought. That is, 493 hamburgers per person per year.
It also compares it to spending programs. Those 90,000 million are four times the annual budget for unemployment and almost ten times that of health. "The European nature of the phenomenon does not serve as an excuse to draw attention to the Spanish case. In addition to presenting outrageously high figures, in the country-specific recommendations of 2017 we saw how the European Commission itself warned of the systemic impact of Corruption in Spain, "Urtasun explains.
The latest Eurostat survey in this regard – from last year – showed that 63% of Spaniards believed that the level of corruption had worsened in the last three years, while 29% believed that the same level had been maintained. 94% also said they believed that the level of corruption in the country was widespread.