In the decades after gaining independence, the burgeoning economies of the Czech Republic and Slovakia have both been rocked by headline-making corruption scandals.
In recent years, Czech bribery scandals such as those involving former Health Minister David Rath and former Prime Minster Petr Nečas have been widely discussed; Nečas was forced to resign, and Rath was sentenced to eight years in prison.
In Slovakia, the 2011 Gorilla Scandal sparked waves of public protests.
While the results of these scandals – arrests, resignations, and wide dissemination through media – indicate that the situation may be improving, it’s clear that the countries still have a long road ahead of them in combating corruption.
And a recent Competitiveness Report from the World Economic Forum seems to agree.
The report surveyed 15,000 business leaders from 140 countries across the world. Each participant was asked to score a series of questions from 1 (most corrupt) to seven (least corrupt):
- How common is illegal diversion of public funds to companies, individuals, or groups?
- How do you rate the ethical standards of local politicians?
- How common is it for firms to make undocumented extras payments or bribes?
Unsurprisingly, the Czech Republic and Slovakia did not fare well.
Writing for Business Insider, Thomas Colson used the Competitiveness Report data to identify the world’s ten most corrupt countries (corruption scores in parentheses):
- 1. Mexico (2.5)
- 2. Slovakia (2.7)
- 3. Italy (3.1)
- 4. Hungary (3.1)
- 5. Greece (3.2)
- 6. Czech Republic (3.3)
- 7. Spain (3.4)
- 8. Latvia (3.5)
- 9. South Korea (3.5)
- 10. Poland (3.7)