Two-Thirds of Icelanders Believe Iceland is Corrupt - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Two-Thirds of Icelanders Believe Iceland is Corrupt

Published November 10, 2009

According to a survey conducted by Bífröst University for the Civic Movement, 67% of Icelanders believe administrative authorities are either highly or very highly corrupt.
“For years it was said that Iceland was one of the least corrupt countries in the world,” a statement from the Civic Movement reads in part, “Transparency International has regularly conducted a measurement of corruption, and according to them the country was a model to others.”
According to Bífröst’s poll, 67% of respondents said they felt government authorities were either highly or very highly corrupt. 1,350 people were contacted for the poll, of whom 63.6% responded. Ragnhildur Arnljótsdóttir, the directing manager of the office of the Prime Minister, told Vísir that it is crucial that the people trust their government, and so authorities should do everything in their power to earn that trust back.
Among the more common complaints from Icelanders as to what makes the country corrupt is the density of the society; with just over 300,000 people, more than half of them living in one city, it’s not uncommon for family members to be working at the same company, especially in larger corporations. This brings with it instances wherein a relative of a manager is promoted or hired over more qualified yet unrelated people. Another corruption factor is the overlap between business and political interests, where close relationships between politicians and bank managers, for example, give the impression of self-serving and greed.
For more on Transparency International’s methodology, read here.

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