HELSINKI No corruption in Finland. Hmmm…

In its latest research dating from 2018, Transparency International ranked Finland as the third least corrupt country in the world, after Denmark and New Zealand. But a new survey from December 2019 will raise a few eyebrows abroad. It certainly will in Finland – a country which likes to see itself as morally virtuous.

Carried out by Kantar TNS, a market research agency, it showed uncomfortable results. Of the 1,098 people interviewed aged between 18 and 79, around 20% answered that in some circumstances it would be quite acceptable to offer money or a bribe to a civil servant. And a quarter considered giving something in return – quid pro quo – would be just fine. In Finland, giving or receiving bribes is illegal.

The question now being asked is, are old values eroding? At least, among the younger generation it might be the case. The most lenient attitudes (37% saying bribes are acceptable in some instances) were found in the age group of 18 to 30. Of those over sixty years of age only 11% were ready to approve of bribery.

Also education is clearly making a difference. Given an opportunity, people with mere basic schooling were more at ease with moving into the grey area (24%), among those with an academic background that percentage fell down to 15%. Even gender seems to play a role. Ready to offer money were 13% of women compared to 24% of men, the survey revealed.

( Pekka Vanttinen |

Subscribe to our newsletters