Slovakia's corruption rating, evaluated annually by Transparency International (TI), has deteriorated by 0.2 points to 4.2, with the country dropping five places in the global table and receiving the worst score among the Visegrad Four (V4) group of central European countries. "This list represents the final evaluation of Robert Fico's government," Gabriel Šipoš from Transparency International Slovensko (TIS) said at a press conference on Tuesday, October 26.
The collection of data for the list took place in 2009. The best possible score is 10, and the worst 0. "The creation of the table is based on the perceptions of domestic and foreign businessmen and the opinions of experts," said Šipoš. This time around Slovakia was ranked joint 59th (with Latvia and Tunisia) among 178 countries. The states ranked best in the table were New Zealand (9.3), Denmark (9.3) and Finland (9.2). The worst evaluations were given to Afghanistan (1.4) and Somalia (1.2). Slovakia's score improved between 2000 and 2007, but has worsened in the past two years. According to Šipoš, this is mainly because of non-transparent public procurement processes carried out by Robert Fico's government, the lack of will to close loopholes in the law, and problems in the judiciary. He added that a poor political culture and a lack of systematic measures in the struggle against corruption didn't help either.
"The fight against corruption wasn't an important issue for the [previous] government," Šipoš emphasised, as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that government representatives chose instead to attack the media and NGOs for pointing to problems with corruption. Conversely, he noted, the new government has published the details of a large number of contracts and has submitted a proposal to open up the judiciary to public supervision. Also, the media and NGOs are no longer being subjected to attacks. The only problem he pointed to was the number of political nominations still being made to non-political posts, but added that the new government had still made quite a promising start.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
27. Oct 2010 at 10:00