Baltic corruption rating remains mediocre

  • 2008-09-24
  • In cooperation with BNS

The head of the Transparency International Lithuania branch said that the country needed to do more to battle corruption.

VILNIUS - TransparencyInternational has released its Corruption Perception Index and rated the three Baltic states of Estonia,Latvia and Lithuaniain 27th, 52nd and 58th place, respectively.

Estonia earned a score of 6.6 on a scale of 10 in the survey, while Latvia got a score of five and Lithuania earned 4.6. The results mark a slightly better position for Estonia and Latvia, buta sharp drop for Lithuania,which lost 0.2 points from last years survey.

Representatives of Transparency International said that thepoor result for Lithuania was due to a lack of "anti-corruption activity."

"Increasing activity of the Special Investigation Service isthe most promising now, however the courts will have their say wheninvestigating corruption cases," the NGO said in a press conference on Tuesday.

Head of the Lithuanian Transparency International office Rytis Juozapavicius said that a possible wayfor the country to improve its corruption rating was to alter the way politicalparties fund their election campaigns.

"Participation in politics should become cheaper - i.e. weshould oblige national broadcasters to broadcast political ads for free. Lithuania,however, has made a decision not oriented towards the West, namely byprohibiting broadcasting of political ads," Juozapavicius said.

"This can result in major corruption - parties need moremoney for the elections from businesses, and they thus commit to work forthem," the office head said.

Estonia,meanwhile, managed to move its ranking up one place from last year.Anti-corruption organizations, however, say that the country should still workto improve its position.

"Efforts certainly have to be made to rise above the present15th ranking among European countries," said Tarmu Tammerk, the leader of theassociation Corruption-free Estonia.

Latviamanaged to dislodge itself from its position last year as the worst in Europe.The country's score jumped by 0.2 points to put it ahead of Lithuania, Poland,Slovakia, Italy and Greece.

The three cleanest countries in the newly-released index are Denmark,New Zealand andSweden, scoring9.3 each. The most corrupt countries, meanwhile, are Somaliawith one point, Iraqand Myanmarwith 1.3 points each, Haitiwith 1.4 points and Afghanistanwith 1.5 points. Russiadropped to 147th with a score of 2.1.