Well it's official, the figures are out and, despite a seemingly never ending revolution, two constitutions and countless empty promises of reform, Egypt is still rotten with corruption, according to Transparency International’s latest report.
In news which is set to further dismay would-be revolutionaries and dreamers across the country, Egypt's bright new future is still dogged by the backhanders and shady payoffs of the past.
Transparency International’s 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index ranks Egypt at 114 out of 175, making it one of the most corrupt places in the world. While some news outlets have been quick to point out that the country has remained at the same position as last year, here at CairoScene, we feel that this simply isn't good enough.
The culture of corruption stinks and we, as a country, need to change the idea that every needlessly long bureaucratic process can be solved with a little 'baksheesh' to shorten the queue – only for those who can afford it or course. In a random survey of our friends, we’ve already heard tales of young football players being hustled for bribes and former cafe owners being hit up for non-existent licence fees. In fact, there are some streets in Cairo where it is impossible to park a vehicle without paying a ridiculous protection fee to one of the locals – who will quite happily protect your prized motor from damage – or smash it up if you refuse.
Of course, Egypt wasn't the only country which fell short of the mark in the study which gave 177 countries a score of between 0 (squeaky clean) and 100 (we can't tell you until you pay a 'find out' fee).
Countries that fared better than the land of the pharaohs included Bosnia and Herzegovina, China and Cuba. But hey, at least we did better than Lebanon, right?
Yes, we have many problems and yes, some would argue we have bigger fish to fry than a little wasta here and there but surely we all agree that a free Egypt should come free of charge, right?