Slovakia Falls By One Place to 60th on 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index

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(Stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, January 28 (TASR) – Slovakia fell by one place to the 60th rank on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2020, according to the organisation’s list published on Thursday.Slovakia is now six places lower than in 2016, for example.

The CPI is produced from the average of rating in nine areas as presented by various bodies measuring opinions on corruption among local entrepreneurs, foreign investors, consultants, political scientists and transparency experts. “A significant slump in one of these sub-indices – the enforcement of law as evaluated by Bertelsmann Stiftung for 2019 – has caused Slovakia’s overall fall on CPI,” said Transparency International Slovakia director Gabriel Sipos.

The fall on the index was partly due to poor anti-corruption actions by former prime minister Peter Pellegrini (now Voice-SD), who handed over the government to Igor Matovic (OLANO) in late March 2020, said Sipos. He added that the work of Matovic, who aims to pull Slovakia up by 20 places on the list, will be fully reflected on the index to be released next year.

“The number of charges pressed over corruption crimes rose by more than one third year-on-year in 2020, and the number of cases brought to court rose by as much as one half to reach the highest figure in the past ten years. The coalition has made the process of selecting people for key posts more transparent in many instances,” said Sipos.

“On the other hand, the failure to keep the promise on boosting political culture has hampered the fight against corruption. The prime minister’s criticism of media and experts with different opinions than his own is far from what is considered standard respect for democracy. The failures to draw consequences from plagiarism by the prime minister and House chairman have also undermined the promise to punish wrongdoing regardless of party affiliation. Several nominations by the Government showed signs of party clientelism. Meanwhile, zero private property as reported by the prime minister is an oddity in global terms,” said Sipos, who also criticised a recent bill reducing transparency in placing public commissions and the fact that the office for the protection of whistle-blowers is still dysfunctional.

Only four EU-member countries were lower than Slovakia on the 2020 list – Croatia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania.

The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories, was topped by Denmark and New Zealand on 88 points. Conversely, Somalia and South Sudan were on the bottom on 12 points each. Slovakia earned 49 points.