Berlin/Jerusalem, Jan 23 (CTK correspondents ) – The Czech Republic considerably dropped, by six positions, being the 44th on the Transparency International’s (TI) 2019 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) released this week and TI says Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s cases are among reasons.
Babiš (ANO), who is prosecuted on suspicion of an EU subsidy fraud and faces a conflict of interest, denies the TI’s conclusion.
The best ratings in the CPI went again to Denmark and New Zealand out of the 180 assessed countries, followed by Finland, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg, all in the top 10. The worst were Somalia and South Sudan last year.
The neighbouring Slovakia was placed 59th.
“In the Czech Republic, recent scandals involving prime minister and his efforts to obtain public money through EU subsidies for his company highlight a startling lack of political integrity. The scandals also point to an insufficient level of transparency in political campaign financing,” TI says in the international version of its report.
Babiš dismisses this view.
“I think that corruption has considerably dropped in the Czech Republic. I do not remember any fundamental corruption scandal in the government or elsewhere during the era of my involvement in (top) politics,” Babiš, PM since 2017 and finance minister in 2014-17, told CTK during his working visit to Israel.
In the TI rankings, the Czech Republic gained 56 points, which is three fewer than in 2018, on the scale from 0 (exorbitant corruption) to 100 (no corruption perceived). The country shares the 44th position with Costa Rica, Georgia and Latvia.
The EU average is 64 points. The Czech Republic is 19th out of the EU countries, while Slovakia with 50 points is the sixth worst member state.
In the past few years, the Czech Republic has been moving up and down on the CPI. In 2015, it was placed 37th, then it declined to the 47th position and in 2017, it rose again to the 42nd, while a year later it was 38th.
The worst average rating out of all world regions went to the Sub-Saharan Africa with 32 points, while the worldwide average is 43 points.