bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 15.08.2018 | Name days: Dzelde, Zenta, Zelda
LithuaniaLithuania

Corruption on decline in Lithuania, yet still remains troublesome

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Linas Jegelevičius for the BNN

To wrap up the findings of a new corruption research ordered by the Special Investigation Service (STT), an institution dealing with financial crimes in Lithuania, the situation is largely improving, yet not as fast as the service wishes.

The damage of direct and implicit corruption activities to Lithuania may amount to 11,4 per cent of Lithuania’s growth domestic product (GDP), or a whopping 4,44 billion euro, the researchers concluded.

Corruption is ubiquitous

If the numbers are just too big for you to grasp, then there’s this revelation:  over the last five years, 15 per cent of company heads have given a bribe to get things done faster, more efficiently or without a headache.

The STT has ordered the research under the name «The Corruption Map of Lithuania» to assess spread and trends in corruption in Lithuania.

«At 15 per cent, the result is way better than before, when half of all the respondents would admit to have given bribe,» says Margarita Dobrynina, chief specialist at the Third Division of the First Board at the Special Investigation Service.

The research also helped break down most of the numbers – the afore-mentioned 15 per cent mostly is located in the areas of the country’s largest cities, Vilnius and Kaunas.

«So to say it in other words, these regions are considered to be the most corrupt in the country, although in general, corruption activities are on decline in Lithuania,» she noted.

Most is willing to grease palm

To believe the research results, the number of businessmen who insisted they would never offer bribe is increasing steadily – from 43 per cent in 2014 to 56 per cent in 2017.

«To look at an even shorter term, the last 12 months, only a mere 5 per cent of respondents admitted of having given bribe. Compared to the year of 2002, the situation has improved dramatically – there were 27 per cent then,» said Dobrynina.

However, every fifth entrepreneur confessed to the pollsters that they would eagerly grease the palm if it helped them handle the problems.

Interestingly, asked to name the most spread form of corruption, respondents pointed out to protectionism of political party members. Especially on the municipal level.

Until now, many heads of municipal companies in the country are usually appointed adhering to the principle of political affiliation.

«If the mayor is, say, conservative, most of the director of the municipal companies will belong to the same party or will be closely related to it. The same goes to all the other parties and their representatives,» Vytautas Černiauskas,  a former municipal Council member, said.

Pharmaceutical companies lead the pack

Asked to say which fields of industry are allegedly most corrupted in the country, respondents put pharmaceutical companies on top, with bankruptcy administrators being the runner-up and construction companies behind them.

Interestingly, IT companies, as well as transport enterprises are deemed as least corrupted.

Meanwhile, in the similar ranking of state institutions, health care providers and hospitals, Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) and local municipalities share the first three spots, while the State Food and Veterinary Service and large business holdings end the ranking.

Among the ministries, the Health Ministry, the Land Defence Ministry and the Agriculture Ministry were thought in the poll to be most prone to corruption, whereas the Education and Science, the Culture Ministry and the Foreign Affairs Ministry were widely seen as the most transparent.

Corruption-related damage assessment

How big damage does corruption inflict yearly to the state? And how much does it costs to all?

According to the STT representative, the European Union has assessed the bloc’s corruption risks from 179 to 990 billion euro every year.

«Corruption risks-induced direct and implicit damage to Lithuania is at 4.44 billion euro, or 11.4 per cent of our GDP, to believe the assessment by RAND Europe, an independent research centre. Corruption is costly both to the population, business and the state itself,» Dobrynina emphasised.

«Indeed, the losses that the state incurs yearly due to corruption are immense. We all should understand that the money, should it be used properly, could benefit all of us. It is estimated state could allot each of us 1500 euro more every year should the institutions function in a more transparent way,» says Sergeij Muravjov, head of the Lithuanian affiliate of Transparency International.

Nepotism is number 1

In his words, nepotism is the most spread form of corruption in Lithuania.

«Many are talking that opaque, non-transparent and corrupted relations between businessmen and politicians, as well as protectionism of relatives and cronies is the main reason why we are losing millions and billions,» he added.

According to him, a lot (in reducing corruption) depends on the politicians; thence the importance of local municipal councils’ members is key.

«Very often, alas, the municipalities are if bogs of corruption which bogs down all good initiatives of transparency or the will to change anything,» the corruption watchdog head claimed.

Flawed legislation prompts corruption 

Meanwhile, Nerijus Mačiulis, chief economist at Swedbank Lithuania, is convinced that that estimate of corruption in Lithuania – at 4.4 billion euro, to remind – shows that corruption cannot be understood narrowly.

«The biggest damage that Lithuania endures as state relates to large-scale corruption, stemming from flawed legislation, which has potential to constraint investments. As a result, large corporations sometimes tend to bypass Lithuania – the country loses new jobs and a possibility of higher wages in the country,» Mačiulis emphasised.

Lithuania ranked 38th on Corruption Index

Lithuania scored 59 points out of 100 on the 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International. Corruption Index in Lithuania averaged 49.67 Points from 1999 until 2016, reaching an all- time high of 61 Points in 2015 and a record low of 38 Points in 1999.

Out of 176 countries rated last year, Lithuania ranked 38th, whereas Latvia stepped down four positions – from the 40th to the 44th position, sharing this place with Georgia, meanwhile Estonia was 22nd.

The index compilers evaluated the corruption in public and political sectors. The assessments were done by local experts and business leaders.

Ref: 111.111.111.4615


Leave a reply

How successful are businesses owned by Saeima deputies? UGF members at the top

Currently politicians in Latvia who own shares in businesses and are also true beneficiaries in capital associations are in the minority. Information compiled by Lursoft shows that 35 Saeima deputies and members of the Cabinet of Ministers own shares in businesses.

Investigation: police arrest man who rammed car into a crowd of people in London

Police in London have arrested a man suspected of ramming barriers outside the parliament building and injuring multiple people in the process.

Number of visitors serviced at Latvian accommodation establishments up 11.3%

A total 772.3 thousand visitors stayed at Latvian tourist accommodation establishments in Q2 2018, which is 11.3 % more than in Q2 2017.

Ministry drops plans to allow doctor assistants rights to write referrals

Latvia’s Healthcare Ministry has dropped the proposal supported by multiple doctor organizations to allow doctor assistants write referrals, according to the project of rules for the organization of healthcare services approved at the state secretaries meeting.

Latvia to test its National Armed Forces’ state defence capabilities

The largest military drills in Latvia’s history – Namejs 2018 – will be taking place in the country from 20 August to 2 September. The goal of this military exercise is to test and improve the country’s National Armed Forces’ readiness to defend the country on their own and as part of a collective defence system, Defence Ministry says.

Insolvency administrator recovered EUR 320,500 from Trasta komercbanka in July

The administrator of the liquidated Trasta komercbanka has recovered EUR 320,501 in July 2018, which is much more than the amount recovered a month prior, when EUR 5,054 was recovered, according to information published by Latvian Herald.

Latvian parties promise to shorten length of judicial proceedings

Political parties that plan to participate in upcoming Saeima elections promise significantly reducing the length of judicial proceedings. They also promise to cancel the opportunity to appeal court verdicts in certain criminal cases, as well as perform a general modernization of the judicial system, according to LETA’s compilation of parties’ programmes.

Wooden promenade collapsed in Spain during festival, injuring 313 people

313 people were injured when a boardwalk collapsed during a sports and music festival in the City of Vigo, in the north-west of Spain, as reported by officials.

Insolvent Tosmare Shipyard plans to lay off workers

Tosmare Shipyard, which has been declared insolvent recently, has plans to lay off workers, as reported by LTV.

French police do not allow Latvian activists to carry flag up to Mont Blanc

Police in France stopped the expedition attempted by climbers from Latvia when they attempted to carry a pole and Latvia’s flag to the peak of Mont Blanc, as reported by The Times.

Minister: Economy Ministry’s proposed plan to abolishment of MPC is not the best solution

Economy Ministry’s proposal to abolish mandatory procurement component fee in three years’ time is not the best solution, said Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Construction output in Latvia increased 31.6% in Q2 2018

Compared to Q2 2017, construction output increased by 31.6 % in Q2 2018. Construction output rise was observed in construction of buildings, civil engineering and specialised construction activities.

SEB Bank survey: 40% of youngsters want to have their own business

Youngsters in Latvia are more ambitious that their neighbours in Lithuania and Estonia and wish to start their own business in the future. 36% of Latvian youngsters aged 18 to 25 have plans to start a business. 4% of them already have a business of their own.

Bank of Latvia acquires securities worth EUR 7.187 billion

As part of European Central Bank’s Public Sector Securities Purchase Program, the Bank of Latvia procured at the end of July securities of international organizations in Latvia and Eurozone worth EUR 7.187 billion, according to information published by the Bank of Latvia.

SLC: there is a desire to please businessmen in language matter

Every now and then a desire to please businessmen, foreigners and investors is noticed in state administration, which surfaces in the form of additional freedoms, said State Language Centre’s director Māris Baltiņš in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

airBaltic: 7-8% of planes fully occupied in summer months

In summer months 7-8% of passenger aircraft of Latvian national airBaltic airline are fully occupied, says airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss.

Baltcom: merge of LMT and Lattelecom is unavoidable in the future

The merge of mobile communications operator Latvijas Mobilais Telefons and telecommunications company Lattelecom is unavoidable in the future, says Baltcom manager Nicolas Boissin.

Weather in Latvia expected to be warm, rainy and windy this week

On Monday, 13 August, high atmospheric pressure area will increase from the east. With that, precipitation will back away. Air temperature will reach +18° C… +23° C during the day and +10° C… +15° C at night, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Week in Lithuania. Ministry initiates swift eviction of Lukiškės Prison

The Ministry of Justice seeks swift eviction of Lukiškės Remand Prison from central Vilnius.

BNN summary of the week: 13th Saeima candidates; Europe’s G-Spot; Latvia’s digital government

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Announcement; Proposal; Expenses; Change; Opposition; Accusation.

IKEA owns approximately 90,000 ha of forests in Latvia

Ever since IKEA Group’s Netherlands-based IRI Investments has become the sole owner of Foran Real Estate, IKEA now owns approximately 90,000 ha of forested land in Latvia, says IRI Forest Management SRL public relations manager Raluka Buzja.

Hot summer causes ice cream sales go up 50% in Latvia

Thanks to a long and hot summer, Latvian residents have been able to enjoy Mediterranean climate and expand their diets with different cool additions, says SIA Rimi Latvia senior public relations specialist Anete Ezeriete.

Ombudsman: certain NGOs lie to UN committee, discrediting Latvia in the process

Certain non-government organizations provide unclear and false information to United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and, possibly, intentionally discredit Latvia, said ombudsman Juris Jansons, commenting on a recent session of the aforementioned committee.

LDz announces procurement for first stage of railway electrification project

As part of Latvian railway electrification project, a talk procedure was announced 10 August. Conditions for participation were published along with this announcement. Construction of the first line of railway electrification will be part of the first stage of the procurement, as reported by Latvijas dzelzceļš representative Ieva Kārkliņa.

390 Ryanair flights cancelled due to strikes

Close to 400 Ryanair flights have been grounded on Friday because of pilot strikes in five European countries.

Newest comments