Egypt's former Tourism Minister Zuhair Garana (Photo: Reuters)
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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