e shtunë, dhjetor 08, 2007

Albania 3rd in the world...for corruption. ( Post answers)

Sorry but felt I needed to answer the post on corruption with another post, as the answer requires a bit of writing.

I was asked if I had ever bribed an official.

That is a good question.
To me a "bribe" is paying to get something that either i do not deserve, or should not be given to me.
It can also be something I pay to get done quicker than normal.

e.g. In 1997 new telephone numbers came out and everyone wanted a land line number.
I was told that there would be enough numbers for everyone.
We got married that year, moved into an apartment and applied for a telephone number.

When the numbers were issued I spent a number of mornings, including a day of snow, standing outside the Telecom building waiting in line to speak to some Telecom official.
Eventually, I got to speak to the right person and found out that a number of people in my apartment would get telephone numbers regardless of WHEN they sent in their application, because they were doctors or professors. (I didn't realise we had so many in our block!) As a result, not everyone would get a number and we were among those that would miss out.

I know of some people that paid a "bribe" and got a number.

I did not.
We waited five years for our telephone number.
Similarly we waited a long time for planning permission to be granted, when a "bribe" could have speeded up the process.

So, in answer to the question - "No" I have never paid a bribe.

However, on the other hand, Ervivi is correct in her answer to the post and you really need to understand life in Albania.
My postman used to come to the door with mail. If I gave him a little "something" for a cup of coffee, then mysteriously, the very next day he would appear with a stack of letters for me. Did they just arrive?...or were they in the post office and he was waiting for a "tip" before bringing them to me.

If you visit the doctor, you may have to "tip" the doorman. You need to "tip" the doctor that sees you, and if you are admitted, you need to "tip" the doctor, the cleaner, the nurse etc etc

I have given these "tips" on many occasions. It is part of life in Albania. You won't survive or get anything done without them!
However, I do not consider this a bribe.
I would consider a bribe as paying the doctor to take you ahead of other people waiting for a similar operation as your own.

Again, there is corruption in schools and universities.
If I paid enough I could easily become a Doctor in Albania, regardless of my results.
Or I could get a driving licence without sitting any lesson or test.
This is probably the worst part of the "everyday" corruption, and to me this is something that I cannot see changing.

The corruption in the hospitals and schools and with the lawyers is something I cannot see changing in Albania. Hopefully things will improve, but it so much part of life within Albania that I cannot see any change coming soon.

Hopefully that is a little clearer.

I am sure those of you from Albania understand completely the situation and I understand it must be difficult for those that have no experience of life here to imagine the reality of daily life in Albania.

16 komente:

Yehudi01 tha...

It sounds quite interesting! What do you do for a living? Are you one who should be tipped by others to receive a service more quickly or efficiently? Are you from the US originally? Interesting blog!
Hanukkah sameach v'Shabbat shalom!

Ervivi tha...

:D you know what, sometimes before I was thinking to buy my driving licence in albania...but finally not such a good idea.

...Now after your last post, I am just asking my self, how do you do to stay there...??? You love albania so much? :D you don't miss Europ monotony, when there is no way to tip or bribe (specially) administration :D

I think that this is what I miss(and I hate) more from Albania, that you can simplify life paying services, you can win time, and don't have to think a lot for solutions...

Anonim tha...

But those are bribes, and it's what's wrong with Albania. Almost the entire administration is corrupt. Those officials get paid by taxpayers to do a job and they don't do it unless they get paid extra. That's one piece of the corruption. The other is that that income doesn't get taxed, and it's another piece. The worst part though is that now everyone must pay them and those that can't suffer. Tips are given after the job is done if it's done well, it's not before the job so that the job gets done at all.

P.S. I am from Albania, and it sickens me that effectively there is no state.

Kolin tha...

yehudi01
Thanks for the comment.

Originally from Scotland,U.K.

I am a missionary with a small church in Shkoder.

As far as RECEIVING bribes.
No, i am not in that position.

I try to follow the teaching of the bible, so honesty and integrity is important.

The closest I think to that happening was once when i was handing out free literature (in 1994), a man in Rubik near Rreshen in the mountains was so happy at receiving literature about the Bible that he stuck some money in my hand. I had to chase after him to give him it back. It was difficult but he accepted it back in the end!

Shalom Y'Israel Adonai Elihenu, Adonai Echad.

Kolin tha...

Ervivi and Anonymous...

Do I like the fact that living in Albania is more about "Who you know" and "do you have a friend that works there?" rather than righteousness and justice?

No, I do not.

I agree with Anonymous's comment.
Many times I said to my wife...
"The postman gets paid to deliver my letters...why then am I paying him to bring the letters to me?!"
Yet the truth is that without paying him he doesn't come.
( Interestingly, I now have a Postal Box number...yet the mailman still will deliver the odd letter to the house to get his"tip" :-)

I shouldn't laugh at that, but either laugh or you cry.

What makes me mad is the corruption at the hospital.
I had a friend suffering from kidney pains, who went to emergency. They had to pay for a pain killing injection.
Another friend took his dad to the hospital, having lost a lot of blood. The hospital told them that they had no blood of his type.

Now, I ask myself if it was one of the doctors family that was sick and needing blood, then I am SURE they would have found the right blood type!!
And in fact, when my friend asked the doctor how much he had to pay to get blood, mysteriously they found blood, and he paid for it.

That makes me angry. It was a life or death situation, and the hospitals are worried about getting their "bribe".

Another of my friends was at maternity, and after his wife gave birth the nurses lined up to get their "tip". In the end he gave all the money he had and literally had to turn out his empty pockets to show he had no more money...then they went away.

I'm sorry this is not a good thing in Albania.
Will it change?
No...sorry to say I don't think so.

I certainly would like to see the Court/Law services(including the Police) and hospitals improve that would good. But where do your start?
If the men in charge of running the country are corrupt, then what hope have we to have law and order and justice in the land.

Maybe Albania need a GOOD dictator to take over and sort some things out!

Yehudi01 tha...

Kolin: "Shalom Y'Israel Adonai Elihenu, Adonai Echad."
Nice job! Where did you pick up a little Hebrew? You are very close to quoting the Shema, (Deut 6:4),
"Shema Yisrael, Adonai eloheinu Adonai echad!" Hear oh Israel, the L-rd our G-d, the L-rd is One!

Are you Mormon? How did you get involved with midssionary work? What does that entail, exactly? How do you measure success? As you can tell, I am quite interested!
Lech l'Shalom, Yehudi

Kolin tha...

Yehudi01
Left a comment on your website.

that may make things a little clearer...but that is about all the hebrew I know except for an odd word here and there.

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