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Report: PA misspent over $3 billion of EU aid

Oct. 16, 2013 4:31 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 17, 2013 2:41 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority may have misspent £1.95 billion ($3.13 billion) of European Union financial aid between 2008 and 2012, a British newspaper reported this week.

The European Court of Auditors, a Luxembourg based organization set-up to audit the accounts of EU institutions, visited several sites in Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank, and Gaza Strip and noted "significant shortcomings" in the management of EU funds, according to the Sunday Times.

In an unpublished report seen by the British paper, EU investigators complained of a lack of measures to address "high-level risks" such as corruption.

A spokesman for the European Court of Auditors told the Times of Israel that "no report had been finalized" and that a report on EU aid to the PA will be published near the end of the year.

A poll by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center in 2012 revealed that 82.3 percent of Palestinians believe there is corruption within the Palestinian Authority.

Transparency International says that 'wasta', or favoritism, is considered the most prevalent form of corruption in the Palestinian Authority, civic and private sector.

The Coalition for Accountability and Integrity said in 2012 that the public sector was most susceptible to corruption based on the results of a public opinion poll.

A 2011 survey for the group says 41 percent of Palestinians polled used 'wasta' for public sector services.
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