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Sunday 19.02.2017 | Name days: Zane, Zuzanna

Transparency International: Latvia has the highest corruption level among Baltics

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUWith 57 points, Latvia is on the 44th place among 176 countries in Transparency International Corruption Perception Index for 2016, as reported by Delna – Society for Openness representative Liene Gatere.

She reports that Latvia has climbed two positions in the index when compared with 2015, which has been the best number of points so far. The country occupies a lower place in the national standings than last year, when it was on 40th place. The four-position decline signifies stagnation in corruption prevention.

Corruption Perception Index is the most commonly used corruption level index in the world. The index compiles data that reflects businessmen’s and experts’ perceived corruption level in state administration. Countries are given points on a scale of 0 to 100 (0 means a high level of corruption and 100 means a low level of corruption).

The average number of points across the European Union is 65. Latvia is behind Estonia, which has 70 points and put on the 20th place, and Lithuania, which has 59 points and put on 38th place. Estonia’s index remains largely unchanged. It has not dropped below 64 points since 2005. Lithuania has lost 2 points in the last year.

Denmark and New Zealand are at the top of the index with 90 points each. Although no country is free of corruption, countries at the top of the index are characterized by open government, media freedom, civil freedom and independent court justice system, Delna reports.

Nordic countries with an average score of 80 to 90 points are traditionally featured at the top of the list. The difference between the average CPI of Nordic countries and Baltics has declined from 45 to 24 points since 2004. That difference has become smaller mainly because the CPI in Nordic countries has declined somewhat.

«As usual, Baltic States have better results among former USSR republics. Russia has dropped by 12 spots this year. With 29 points, it is on the 131 place. Belarus, on the other hand, has experienced the biggest leap, climbing 28 spots to 79th place among other countries of the world,» – Gatere said.

69% received less than 50 points this year. ‘In too many countries, people are deprived of their most basic needs and go to bed hungry every night because of corruption, while the powerful and corrupt enjoy lavish lifestyles with impunity,’ – said José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International.

According to Latvia’s corruption prevention and combating principles for 2015-2020, the country’s CPI has to reach 60 points in 2017 and 70 points in 2020.

«First of all, it is necessary to adopt Whistleblower Protection Law and introduce whistleblowing mechanisms. Secondly, it is necessary to enhance corruption prevention, investigation and prosecution measures in order to reduce lawlessness and the sense of impunity of high-rank officials. Thirdly, it is necessary to put effort into the formation of true beneficiaries registry and adequate sanctions for people involved in money-laundering schemes,» – Delna representatives said.

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