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Slovakia stagnates in fight against corruption

SLOVAKIA’S position in perceiving and fighting corruption improved only slightly over last year. The country scored 47 points and thus placed 61st in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2013, which is one place up compared to last year. The only European Union countries which reported worse results were Italy, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece, the ethics watchdog Transparency International (TI) which surveyed the situation in 177 countries reported on December 3.

SLOVAKIA’S position in perceiving and fighting corruption improved only slightly over last year. The country scored 47 points and thus placed 61st in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2013, which is one place up compared to last year. The only European Union countries which reported worse results were Italy, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece, the ethics watchdog Transparency International (TI) which surveyed the situation in 177 countries reported on December 3.

The index measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in countries worldwide, scoring them from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean), TI wrote in the report.

Compared to last year Slovakia received worse evaluation in three of eight indicators evaluated by businesspeople from World Economic Forum, IMD World Competitiveness Centre and Freedom House. On the other hand, Bertelsmann Foundation improved the grade for the country since they praised the reforms passed by Iveta Radičová’s government (2010-12), such as publishing the contracts and court rulings, Transparency International Slovensko (TIS) wrote in a press release.

TIS also pointed out that Slovakia has stagnated in the fight against corruption. The watchdog mentioned the unfulfilled promise of parliamentary parties over higher transparency or establishment of the independent control of financing the political activities. Though they promised to amend the rules for financing by April 2013, they have not done so yet, TIS wrote.

The parliament also did not pass any stricter rules pertaining to property disclosures or to conflict of interests. The government however plans to restrict the law on free access to information, the press release reads.

In addition to this, political nominees still get important functions in state-run companies at the expense of experts and independent candidates. The watchdog also pointed to cronyism in state administration and judiciary, mentioning the information that several family members of Agriculture Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek and people from his home village, Komjatice, that work at the ministry.

Moreover, despite the low trust of the public the government does not prepare rules that might stop this trend. It also failed to make the work of disciplinary senates more effective or to find solution to discrimination lawsuits, according to TIS.

“Even after 2013 Slovakia belongs to one of few European countries where the high judicial representative was not found guilty of corruption, though we are not exceptional in the number of suspicious and dubious tenders,” TIS press release reads.

The watchdog also pointed to controversial election and appointment of Jaromír Čižnár to the post of general prosecutor.

On the other hand, TIS praised the launch of publishing public competitions as well as obligatory publishing of tender conditions. The organisation also complemented improved openness and quality of information provided in Slovak towns.

Source: TIS press release
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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