Society

Corrupt Tours? In Prague, A New Crooked Way To See The City

In the Czech Republic, where corruption is rampant, some have decided to make an honest buck out of the dirty dealings: Corruption Tours, or the "Prague Cronies Safari," shows the spots around Prague where bribes have been passed and fav

Prague Bridges on Vltava River
Prague Bridges on Vltava River

*NEWSBITES

The Czech Republic has finished 57th in the 2011 Corruption Perception Index, alongside Namibia and Saudi Arabia, according to Transparency International. This ignoble ranking gave tour-operators a bright idea: for just 20 euros, you can take a "Corrupt Tour" of two to three hours, to ride around the city to see Prague's corruption hot-spots.

A tour guide points out the locations around the capital associated with illicit dealings. "Enjoy the best of the worst" is the tour operator's motto.

But the fight against corruption is starting to pay-off in other ways. First in public awareness: according to a poll conducted in March by the Public Opinion Research Center (CCVM), 41% of Czechs believe that corruption and bribes are the key factors in political decisions, up from 32% last year.

Also, enforcement is starting to bring in big fish: Vit Barta, the former Transports Minister has just been handed an 18-month suspended sentence for buying off members of his political party. Last week, the anti-corruption police charged ten people, including three civil servants, in a scam connected to the Czech EU presidency contracts. Finance Minister, Miroslav Kalousek, was also accused of steeling billions since his arrival into power.

Read the full story in French. Original article by Massimo Prandi

Photo - Ian Britton

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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