Greece must improve its fight against its companies bribing foreign officials in order to win contracts, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has said.
An OECD report on Greece’s Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials said the country had given a lower priority to fighting foreign bribery than to combating domestic corruption.
“This sends an unfortunate message that foreign bribery is an acceptable means to win overseas business and improve Greece’s economy during an economic crisis,” said the OECD. “Greece must therefore urgently raise the priority of fighting foreign bribery and explicitly address foreign bribery in its national anti-corruption strategies.”
The OECD Working Group on Bribery recommended Greece raise awareness of foreign bribery, especially among exporting and shipping companies and SMEs.
It also said the country should without delay:
1. Develop and implement a strategy to detect foreign bribery
2. Assess and investigate credible foreign bribery allegations
3. Provide prosecutors and investigators with sufficient resources
4. Better protect whistleblowers from retaliation
The OECD praised the country for clarifying legal ambiguities relating to foreign bribery offences, clarifying how foreign investigators can obtain information and raising maximum fines for bribery.
It added, however, that, even stiffer fines were necessary. It also noted that the Public Prosecutor against Crimes of Corruption has been given an important role in investigations and prosecutions.
A new Ministry of Anti-Corruption was created in January 2015.