Cartels still exist in Latvia - Karins on Corruption Perception Index

  • 2023-01-31
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - In Latvia, there are increasingly more areas where illegal transactions are no longer possible and residents' well-being is getting better, however, Latvia's score in the 2022 Corruption Perception Index proves that cartels still exist in Latvia, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday.

On Monday, the coalition cooperation council discussed a cartel agreement in public bus transportation recently busted by the Competition Council.

"Transport Minister Janis Vitenbergs (National Alliance) has stepped forward to coordinate actions so we could get out of this situation. That is, on the one hand, we must ensure that transportation services are provided to passengers and, on the other hand, that the cartel is foiled and there are consequences, and those involved in the cartel agreement are kicked out," said Karins.

"Corruption is a plague inherited from the times of occupation, and it must be further eradicated wherever we find it," said the prime minister.

As reported, in 2022 corruption perception in Latvia stayed unchanged from the year before, according to the latest Corruption Perception Index released by Transparency International.

As LETA was told at Delna, the Latvian arm of Transparency International, compared to 2021, Latvia's score remained unchanged last year - at 59 points out of 100, which is well below the results shown by most other European Union and OECD countries.

Latvia's performance in 2022 suggests that the country will not manage to achieve the target set out in its National Development Plan 2021-2027 - to score 64 points in the Corruption Perception Index 2024 and 67 points in 2027.

Delna indicates that although the declaration of Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins' new government notes the importance of combating corruption, it does not describe any specific anti-corruption measures the government plans to take. "There is an impression that we are aware of the negative effects of corruption but that practically we are unable to affect it," the organization said.