Senior embassy staff of France, the Netherlands and Great Britain discussed the importance of fighting corruption and noted the grave social and economic consequences of corruption at a press conference organized by Transparency International (TI) Hungary at the Sziget Festival.
As the Hungarian news agency MTI reported, Gajus
Scheltema, the Dutch Ambassador to Hungary, said corruption was one of the most
serious of negative phenomena undermining society, and the only way it can be
fought against is through a good legal system and a transparent media which
Anne-Marie Maskay, First Counsellor at the French
Embassy, noted there were lesser known connections between corruption and
climate change. She added it was crucial that young people are educated about
the dangers of corruption.
Péter József Martin, chief executive of TI Hungary,
cited a survey according to which 80% of Hungarian youth believed it was
impossible to get ahead without resorting to corruption. He also noted that Hungary
fares below the EU average on corruption surveys.
Balázs Weyer, co-founder of the investigative news
portal Direkt36, said the Hungarian media is reporting less and less about
corruption due to the risks and costs involved. Moreover, media outlets are
often linked to financing through graft, he added.
In a short interview with Diplomacy Trade, Adam Kettle-Williams, Deputy Head of Mission at
the British Embassy, "corruption is a global problem (to which no country is
immune) and it makes communities less stable, increases the risk of conflict
and reduces the opportunity of widespread economic prosperity. NGOs such as Transparency International play
an essential role in addressing this global problem and I was very pleased that
they were able to raise awareness of the issue with a broad range of (many
young) people from across Europe at Sziget."
(See more in the September issue of Diplomacy & Trade)
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