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A Guide to Egypt's Challenges: Corruption

Bassem Sabry provides a multi-pronged overview of the political, economic and social challenges facing Egypt's first post-Mubarak president, with an emphasis on the everyday problems facing average Egyptians

Bassem Sabry , Thursday 16 Aug 2012
Zuhair Garana
Egypt's former Tourism Minister Zuhair Garana (Photo: Reuters)
Views: 2631
Views: 2631

A mid-2009 survey by the Ahram Centre revealed that 47 per cent of small and mid-sized companies in Egypt had to pay bribes to avoid closedowns, get licenses, and manage to work without problems (red tape itself remains a serious impediment to economic activity in Egypt, with a study by Hernando de Soto claiming it required 500 days to register a small bakery, though that is more likely to be the case outside urban areas). 

In 2010, a government report also stated that Egypt sees more than 70,000 legal cases involving corruption annually.

Meanwhile, Transparency International’s Corruption Index ranked Egypt 112 out of 182, with a score of 2.9 down from 3.1 a year earlier (larger numbers are better), and scores overall remained in a downward direction for several years (for reference, New Zealand is in first place in transparency with 9.5/10, Qatar is 22nd globally and first in the Arab region with 7.2, while Israel is 36th globally with 5.8, and Turkey 61st globally with 4.2).

Setting aside statistics, it is a local tradition that one cannot get any real work done, or even finish official paperwork at a decent pace, without “greasing” someone's hand.

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Justen Karlsson
21-08-2012 09:22am
Corruption and cheating is rife, especially to Europeans that come to Egypt to retire and enjoy the culture and life. The first thing that struck me was the size of the Court Building in Luxor, to me it said that there is something wrong, why does a Court building for a small City need to be so big? i did find out though, to my dismay!! The jurisdiction Service is very poor and very inefficient, often enough taking 3 years to get a case to Court, and that is pathetic. there is also a problem with Lawyers in Luxor, almost everyone is corrupt, taking money from both sides to delay things, taking money from clients to do work that is unessacary. I heard of a Lawyer that took money from a European on the saying he had to go to Cairo to do some work, and he just used the money to go and have an operation in Cairo, nothing to do with the case in hand. There really needs to be a department to deal with these lawyers, and if found guilty of misrepresentation they should loose their licenses.
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