Sunday 4 December 2016

Corruption in our politics

Published 26/01/2010 | 08:03

GRECO -- the Group of States against Corruption in Europe, an arm of the Council of Europe -- has examined Ireland's anti-corruption laws and found them wanting. That will surprise nobody.

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The question is whether we will make the appropriate improvements to our laws and practices. Greco's report, endorsed by Transparency International Ireland, calls for a register of lobbyists, the publication of political parties' annual accounts, and curbs on election spending. In this last case, there have been malpractices on a large and almost comical scale, with some candidates spending the bulk of their money before the declaration of an election.

Donations, real or fake, have been notorious in the past. A close look at how the system operates nowadays could do no harm. Transparency International Ireland wants all donations above €120 to be disclosed.

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