Poll indicates high degree of corruption


More than three quarters of Czech firms say they have experienced corruption within their business activities, according to a survey carried out by the business daily Hospodarske Noviny. Half of the respondents said they would pay a bribe if it secured new orders for them. Four out of ten entrepreneurs polled confessed to having given a bribe on at least one occasion to further their company's interests. Earlier this year the Czech Justice Ministry unveiled a broad anti-corruption plan including an amendment to the penal code which would introduce tougher punishment for both offering and accepting a bribe, as well as for failing to report a serious case of bribery. The ministry's anti-corruption plan likewise envisages special training for judges, the establishment of special anti-corruption "panels" and anti corruption agents and a special hot line for anyone who wants to report a case.