November 17, 2009 / 5:01 PM / 10 years ago

FACTBOX-Transparency Int. Europe corruption perceptions

LONDON, Nov 17 (Reuters) — Transparency International released on Tuesday its 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index, ranking states on perceptions of levels of public sector corruption.

The CPI scores countries on a scale of zero to 10, with zero indicating high levels of corruption and 10 very low. The index is closely watched by many emerging market investors.

Below, find Transparency International’s key changes to European country ratings.

For the highest and lowest global rankings, click here [ID:nLG352428].

For a story on the global rankings, click here [ID:nLG352428]

For more information, visit www.transparency.org

GOOD NEWS

BULGARIA (3.8 versus 3.6 in 2008)

Praises new Bulgarian government for bringing many corruption cases to court in its first month in office, as well as introducing reforms in customs and border police. Warns political corruption and organised crime yet to be addressed.

GEORGIA (4.1 versus 3.9 in 2008)

War with Russia and ongoing political turmoil have not been enough to stop Georgia making progress on corruption, with a general consensus that petty corruption in particular has diminished. Transparency International raises concerns over ongoing high-level corruption and corrupt practices in the judiciary.

POLAND (5.0 versus 4.6 in 2008)

Praises institutional reforms aimed at establishment of a ministerial anti-corruption office, more investigations into graft and plans to adopt a national anti-corruption strategy. Transparency International says these efforts must be sustained and strengthened.

KAZAKHSTAN (2.7 versus 2.2 in 2008)

Corruption remains systematic but recent government anti-corruption efforts aimed at improving conditions for foreign investors are praised. In 2010, it will become the first former Soviet bloc country to chair the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE). Serious problems remain affecting judiciary, police, customs, property rights, land registration and construction sector.

RUSSIA (2.2 versus 2.1 in 2008)

Russia’s slim increase is seen as a response to a December 2008 package of anti-corruption legislation initiated and promoted by President Dmitri Medvedev, who also recently admitted corruption was endemic. Report criticises excessive role of government in economy and business sector.

BAD NEWS

CZECH REPUBLIC (4.9 versus 5.2 in 2008)

Rating falls because of the low priority given to reform coupled with slight instability after formation of the government. Expresses concern over recent statements by government seemingly trying to undermine judicial independence, as well as staff changes in specialist police units undermining their effectiveness.

GREECE (3.8 versus 4.7 in 2008)

A particularly serious fall, leaving Greece with a much worse rating than many regional emerging economies and equal to Bulgaria and Romania. Transparency International cites insufficient levels of anti-corruption enforcement, lengthy judicial delays and a string of corporate corruption scandals. It says Greece needs “immediate and sustained efforts” to improve the situation, adding that its poor score shows EU membership alone does not imply progress against corruption.

LATVIA (4.5 versus 5.0 in 2008)

Fall due primarily to high-profile corruption scandals and attempts by the previous government to undermine the national anti-corruption agency in 2008. Transparency International says the government bailout of a local bank at the end of 2008 — benefiting the bank’s owners, large investors and possibly political decision-makers — was a particular low point, contributing to the collapse of the Latvian economy.

ROMANIA (3.8, unchanged from 2008)

Fails to advance anti-corruption efforts, with EU membership ironically reducing pressure for further reforms. Warns of a “degradation in public integrity climate”.

SLOVAKIA (4.5 versus 5.0 in 2008)

Cites procurement scandals and delayed responses from government, together with weakness of oversight institutions, stricter press laws and government restrictions on press and NGOs.

UKRAINE (2.2 versus 2.5 in 2008)

Political turmoil contributes to the fall, with higher levels of both public and private sector corruption. Transparency warns of a “bleak outlook”.

compiled by Peter Apps

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