Most people in Finland say they categorically disapprove of corruption in all cases in their own lives, according to a study published on Saturday by the Foundation for Municipal Development (Kaks).
About two-thirds of those polled said they disapprove of offering an official money, a gift or a favour in return in order to resolve a difficult situation, whether in Finland or abroad.
More than a quarter said they might consider offering some kind of favour in return for avoiding repercussions or to obtain a positive decision from an authority. One in five might consider offering money or a gift in some situation.
Young respondents were more permissive about offering cash to officials than pensioners. Men were more likely to see offering money or gift as acceptable than female respondents.
One-sixth of those with academic degrees said that offering money is at least sometimes acceptable. Meanwhile a quarter of those with lower education said it might be okay to offer an official money in some kind of sticky situation.
Greens backers most permissive of bribery
A majority of supporters of all of Finland’s main political parties said they condemn the offering of money, presents or counter services to officials under all conditions.
Supporters of the Left Alliance, Centre and conservative National Coalition Party were more likely than average to reject graft in all cases.
Those most likely to say that bribery is acceptable in some cases were supporters of the Greens. One in four said so, while more than a third said that offering a favour in return might be understandable in return in some situations. Paradoxically, a study of political candidates last year suggested that those representing the Greens and the Swedish People’s Party were the most law-abiding.
Finland has routinely been rated as one of the world's least corrupt countries in the Transparency International survey, topping the list for five years in the early 2000s and again in 2012. Last year, Finland was ranked third for the third year in a row, with the NGO noting that "partly state-owned defence company Patria has been embroiled in corruption scandals in Slovenia and Croatia".
Pollster Kantar TNS interviewed about 1,100 people in early December for the survey. It says that they represent the population of mainland Finland aged 18-79, and estimates the margin of error at just under three percentage points.