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IN SHORT

Slovakia must do better against corruption

SLOVAKIA ranked 57th in Transparency International's (TI) annual perception of corruption chart for 2004. That is up two places from the preceding year.

According to the SME daily, the chart gives the results for 146 countries, compared with 133 states one year ago.

The TI report appreciated Slovakia's establishment of a special court and special attorney for fighting corruption and organized crime. However, it warned that their competences were not wide-ranging enough to be effective.

The annual report also criticizes Slovakia's new legislation on conflict of interest. According to TI, the law does not provide a full solution to the problem because various interest groups had the legislation watered down.

Finland, New Zealand, Iceland and Denmark came top of the chart with the lowest perceived corruption rate. According to TI, Slovakia is worse in terms of corruption than its neighbours Hungary and the Czech Republic. Countries such as Uruguay, Botswana, Costa Rica, Slovenia, and Estonia also ranked better than Slovakia.

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