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The Fundamental Rights Survey set out to examine how people in the EU see democratic values. The survey revealed in some countries, every fifth person has been asked for a favour, gift or cash when dealing with a public servant or hospital. Those quizzed said they handed over cash to doctors, in one case just to be “treated like a human being”.
And the survey found 48 percent of young people find it normal and indeed acceptable to give a gift or do a favour, this compares to 35 percent in other age groups.
More than 60 percent of people questioned in Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia and Latvia, consider it common for people to offer favours to speed up their access to healthcare.
In Slovakia, Czech Republic and Croatia, the majority of people think it is acceptable to sometimes give a gift or do a favour for public officials in order to have a problem dealt with more quickly.
One young man from Cyprus said in the survey: “Public hospital doctors always expect a gift in order to take better care of you.”
A woman in her 30s from Hungary said: “For example when you have to pay heavy money to the gynaecologist so that you will be treated as a human being in the hospital.
“And that’s absolutely general, there’s nothing unusual about it.”
And a pensioner in Germany said: “The public administration works too slowly.
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“It sometimes takes weeks to receive a response to requests, and when it does, the information is so cluttered that it cannot be understood.”
Another man from Croatia said: “In practice, basic human rights do not apply to all citizens equally and there exist first and second class citizens.”
Around 11 percent of people said they were not treated equally by public administration.
This number rose to 17 percent among people who struggled financially.
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The survey found 88 percent of people in the EU believe human rights are important for creating a fairer society.
The survey was completed by 34,948 respondents, between January to October 2019.
It was carried out by a mixture of online questionnaires and in person interviews.
The Bribery Act in Britain means it is an offence to bribe a public official.
This covers the promising or accepting of an advantage.
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