Albanians distrust all major institutions, worried over corruption

Albanians distrust all major institutions, worried over corruption

Political parties, the courts, parliament, the prosecution and the president are the least trusted institutions in Albania with less than a quarter of citizens having any trust in them at all.

This is according to the Institute for Democracy and Mediation’s Trust in Governance Opinion Poll for 2020. Now in its eighth edition, the poll surveyed a representative sample of 2,500 citizens to examine what is their perception on those who run their respective countries.

Albanians have little confidence in domestic institutions, preferring instead to place their trust with international organization like NATO, the UN, and the EU. At the local level, they had more trust in religious institutions, followed by educational institutions, the armed forces, and then civil society.

Albanians believe that the government and municipalities aren’t transparent, although numbers improved slightly from last year. Generally, they believe that only foreign institutions can hold the government to account, although they have some trust in the Supreme State Audit Institution, the media, the Ombudsman, and civil society.

In terms of corruption, more than 84% believe both petty and large-scale corruption are widespread. They ranked judicial institutions as the most corrupt. In fact, only 28.7% trust that judicial reform is being implemented correctly and around half think it will have a positive impact on Albania. According to respondents, they worry about the way politics influences the judiciary.

This is the fourth year in a row that confidence in the justice reform has continued to decrease.

The poll reports that healthcare institutions are seen as the second most corrupt institutions in the country (note the survey was taken during the year of the pandemic), followed by law enforcement, and parliament.

The majority have no confidence that petty or grand corruption are prosecuted.

Even more concerningly, 32% of respondents said they paid a bribe to receive a service from the central government in 2020—a notable increase from 2019, when only 19% of respondents reported the same.

TV remains the main source of information, followed by social media and online portals. Only a third believe the information provided by the media is true.

In terms of natural disasters like the 2019 earthquake and the pandemic, only 40.3% were happy with the government’s decision-making.  A further 65% were not happy with how their human rights and personal freedoms were handled during the pandemic.

Less than 40% said the government managed post-earthquake responses properly.

In terms of equality, not surprisingly 50% of men said they thought there was equality between the sexes, whereas just 39% of women felt this way./ibna