People in Ireland have mixed feelings about corruption, according to a new Eurobarometer survey carried out for the European Commission.

Just 55pc of Irish people think corruption is unavoidable and has always existed, which is the second lowest rate in Europe after the Czech Republic at 46pc, and well below the EU average of 70pc.

However, 86pc of Irish respondents believe corruption is a major problem in their country, compared with the EU average 74pc, and a one point increase since the 2009 survey. The Greeks (98pc), Portuguese and Cypriots (both 97pc) and Hungarians and Romanians (both 96pc) were most likely to think that corruption was a major problem in their countries and the Danish least likely (19pc) followed by the Dutch and Luxembourgish (both 34pc).)

Interestingly, only 2pc of Irish respondents said they had been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the previous twelve months, joint second lowest in Europe (with the UK, Denmark and Sweden) after the Netherlands at 1pc. At least a quarter of respondents said they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in Romania (31pc), Lithuania (27pc), Slovakia (27pc) and Bulgaria (25pc).

Also, 53pc of Irish people said that they are not affected by corruption in their daily lives (EU average 67pc). This compares to 94pc in Denmark and 90pc in Luxembourg and, at the other end of the scale, 18pc in Romania and 27pc in Greece.

The Eurobarometer also reveals that, with regard to politics, fewer Irish people think there is sufficient transparency and supervision in the financing of political parties. Whereas only 18pc of Irish respondents agree that transparency and supervision in the financing of political parties is sufficient, 65pc disagree (EU average 22pc to 68pc).

The groups most likely to agree that corruption is a major problem in their country are: those who struggle to pay their bills, those who left full time education at the age of 15 and the unemployed, house persons and those in retirement.