Thursday, 17 January 2019

ČR climbs in latest TI corruption perception survey

ČTK |
28 January 2016

Prague, Jan 27 (CTK) - The Czech Republic's position in the world corruption perception index (CPI) markedly improved in the past year, rising to 37th place from the 53rd in 2015, according to the annual survey of 168 countries that the Transparency International (TI) watchdog released yesterday.
Despite its jump 16 positions upwards, the Czech Republic still lags behind most European Union countries.
According to the Czech TI branch, the country's position has improved as a result of a better performance of law enforcement bodies and the break up of clientelist systems formerly controlled by influential businesspeople tied to political parties.
With 56 points of the maximum possible 100, the Czechs ended 37th together with South Korea and Malta.
The fresh survey shows that the trend of improving Czech CPI position, which started a year ago when Prague moved to the 53rd position from the 57th, has continued since.
However, the Czech result is rather weak in the EU, where the average CPI is 65 points.
In the EU ranking, the Czechs have moved from the 25th to the 22nd position in the past year, overtaking Slovakia and Hungary, which gained 51 points each.
Nevertheless, other post-communist EU countries, such as Estonia (14th position, 70 points) and Poland (16th position, 62 points) fared better than the Czech Republic.
In the world ranking, the leaders are the Scandinavian countries and New Zealand.
Like in the past two years, Denmark occupied the first position with 91 points, followed by Finland and Sweden.
Of the EU countries, the worst-faring were Italy (44 points) and Bulgaria (41).
The annual CPI survey uses a 100-point scale on which 100 points mean a corruption free state.
The TI has been releasing the survey since 1995.
Like this year, the Czech Republic also ended 37th in 1998, when, however, the TI surveyed only 85 countries. In the following years, the Czech position steadily deteriorated until 2015 when it improved for the first time after a long pause.
"It has been confirmed that the long-lasting efforts and the pressure for eliminating corruption opportunities and punishing corruption have been effective," Radim Bures, director of the Czech TI branch, told journalists.
He said TI expected the Czech ranking to improve but not that sharply.
It has improved thanks to the Czech bodies' more consistent approach to the investigation and punishment of corruption, which was enabled by the previous changes at the State Attorney's Office, Bures said.
The Czech ranking also improved because "godfathers" such as [Prague businessmen] Ivo Rittig, Roman Janousek and Tomas Hrdlicka can no longer influence the personnel filling of posts in the police, Bures said.
The pressure from civic organisations and some activists´ entry into politics have also played a role, he added.

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