As European leaders continue to squabble over a plan to save the Euro the continents rich continue to get richer whilst the rest get undeniably poorer. Corruption and greed is the key cause of the continents suffering exacerbated by poor leadership and personal interest.
News of corruption is nothing new in most modern European nations with politicians, celebrities and bankers all being implicated in scandals. Unfortunately it isn’t just the mega rich or stereotypical scapegoats that are involved in the act. Countless people in everyday life partake in corruption, receiving back-hander’s, taking bribes or committing perhaps the most damaging thing to an economy, tax evasion.
Empires have fallen because of corruption, the rich seek to get richer and find new ways to avoid providing the funds needed to maintain a government or kingdom. As a result disaster quickly follows as funds run out and chaos ensues. The greedy rich flee with their ill gotten wealth and leave the rest of the populace to suffer the consequences, a situation that is repeating itself right across present day Europe.
Problems of corruption have been a regular occurrence in countries such as Italy and Greece. It has infiltrated every corner of Italian society and political groups are often accused of having links with organised crime. The country’s complicated tax system is rife with tax evasion with many economists pointing out that this issue is the greatest threat to any Italian recovery. Employees in both the public and private sectors have their tax deducted from their pay checks and do not have to submit tax declaration forms. Huge numbers of people falsely report their earnings, thus lowering their tax bills. The state has as yet not found a method of tackling this situation. Greece too has suffered for years at the hand of corrupt politicians who have been regularly caught out committing nefarious dodgy deals and its people have slipped into a habit of tax avoidance.
For years the issue of tax evasion was ignored by the authorities, millions of Euros were siphoned out of the economy. Either the politicians were involved in it themselves or they genuinely believed that such practices would have a beneficial impact on the overall economy. Now the years of pain have struck and tax evasion is putting a severe strain of finances. Public services are being cut, hospitals are running low of supplies and despair is tangible amongst citizens.
There is a glimmer of light that governments are finally beginning to wake up to the threat those corrupt people are causing to economies. The Italian senate has begun a series of investigations into corruption and has ordered the arrests of a number of politicians accused of taking bribes. In the UK attention has been drawn to the fact that many wealthy celebrities and businesses have been avoiding paying their fair share of taxes and a public backlash appears to be growing. Whilst the majority suffer why should the rich get richer off of their misery?
If the Euro crisis has shown us anything it is that corruption must be rooted out and those responsible held to account, but the chances of that happening are slim, after all who actually trusts their politicians?