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Stark warnings from Transparency International

23.09.2008

Transparency International has just issued its 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).  It states that “persistently high corruption in low-income countries amounts to an “ongoing humanitarian disaster”, and stresses the “fatal link between poverty, failed institutions and graft. But other notable backsliders in the 2008 CPI indicate that the strength of oversight mechanisms is also at risk among the wealthiest”

“Of all CIS countries only Georgia shows an improvement while the scores of Russia and Ukraine continue to slide. Most countries in Central Asia remain at the same low level or show a significant decrease in their CPI score as is the case with Kyrgyzstan which went from 2.1 in 2007 to 1.8 in 2008”

Ukraine stands at no. 134 out of 180 countries with a score of 2.5 (against the top countries Denmark and Sweden at 9.3).  in 2007 it had a score of 118, and has thus fallen considerably.

One major problem in Ukraine is political corruption with the prices of a place on parties’ candidate lists being quoted in millions of dollars.  According to a report on Radio Svoboda politicians speak of a vicious cycle of politics – money – politics, yet make little real effort to do anything about it.
Transparency International is convinced that the struggle against corruption needs the united efforts of legislators, the justice system, independent media outlets and strong civic society.

“Georgia with a score of 3.9 in 2008 up from 3.4 in 2007, shows that the current administration’s early reform efforts were highly effective in earning public confidence and improving the country’s international image. There is a general consensus among public officials and civil society organisations that petty corruption has fallen post-revolution. In spite of this, grand corruption remains a persistent concern and a common assessment is that the official anti-corruption campaign is too heavily focused on prosecution as opposed to prevention, and that it is rather adhoc and not systemic or participatory.”.

Of other post-Soviet republics Armenia and Moldova stand at no. 109 with a score of 2.9 each.

The others: Kazakhstan (145: 2.2), Russia (147: 2.1); Belarus (151: 2.0); Tajikistan (151: 2.0); Azerbaijan (158: 1.9); and all at 166 with a score of 1.8 are Turkmenistan, Kyrgystan and Uzbekistan.

The Transparency International CPI measures the perceived levels of public-sector corruption in a given country and is a composite index, drawing on different expert and business surveys. The 2008 CPI scores 180 countries (the same number as the 2007 CPI) on a scale from zero (highly corrupt) to ten (highly clean).

The TA Press Kit is available at: http://transparency.org/
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