Tag Archives: corruption

There are times when a good monarchy is better than a bad democracy,” said Sonmez, who works at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology’s Kaust Venture Lab Accelerator. “The expectation was that Turkey would move toward EU accession, and we’d have more freedom after the military was put down. But now we see that’s not happening.


Strictly speaking, these reporters do not conform to the definition of journalists because in China they are often entrusted with multiple duties — such as being ad salesmen and handling publicity — in addition to their editorial tasks. The nature of these multiple functions creates obvious conflicts of interest. And it is the newspapers that arrange their jobs this way.
The truth is that compared to the taker of “mouth-sealing fees,” the state press is much more unscrupulous than the individual journalists on their payrolls. For instance, a few years ago CCTV revealed abuses by Baidu, the major Internet services company whose pay-per-click ad system led to fraud. Baidu search results helped send junk information designed to mislead the public. When this was exposed, many people predicted that Baidu would have to pay a fortune to silence CCTV from further reporting.
Sure enough, as Baidu’s chief financial officer, Jennifer Li, later confirmed, Baidu’s “marketing expenses” soared by more than 40 million yuan in the quarter following the scandal. The vast majority of these marketing-related expenses were given to CCTV.

There is no question that public awareness of—that is, disgust with—corruption has grown. In the last year, quarterly polls conducted by the Center for Sociological Investigations saw Spaniards rank it as the country’s fourth gravest problem, surpassed only by unemployment and other economic issues. Yet, the Bárcenas revelations brought only an estimated 1,000 people to an impromptu demonstration held in front of Popular Party headquarters in Madrid. “The idea that politicians are getting envelopes stuffed with cash during these moments of crisis has certainly generated a sense of indignation,” says Villoria. “But there’s also a sense of what can you do besides answer a poll?” While those polls show overwhelming support for toughening sanctions against corruption, little government action has yet been taken. In the wake of the latest scandals, the Popular Party has promised to conduct a thorough internal investigation and prime minister Rajoy said that “his hand would not tremble” to punish anyone found guilty of misconduct. It has also promised greater accountability and oversight in the form of a Transparency Law, proposed last March but still not yet approved, that would require governments at all levels to make their accounts available to the public. But already there are caveats. On Friday, it was announced, that the royal family would be exempt from the law. And thanks to opposition from both the PP and the PSOE so too, most likely, will political parties. Over 75,000 citizens have signed an online petition asking that the parties be included in the legislation. But for that to happen, something would have to change.