Sunday, September 30, 2007

Poland as corrupt as Cuba, claims watchdog

Poland has been classified as 61st in the annual ranking Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) by Transparency International – level with Cuba and behind such countries as Namibia and Costa Rica.

Despite the fact that Poland’s position in the ranking has improved, the country still comes off rather pale in comparison with other EU countries. Poland is not the most corrupted of all Member States only because of Romania and Bulgaria who in 2007 joined the EU.

The place in the ranking is not as important as the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) which is used to determine if the Poles feel that they live in a corrupted country. In the second year in a row the index improved slightly.

“For two years in Poland there has been a lot of coverage on corruption. People have an impression that there is a fight against corruption going on,” says Piotr Kobza from TI. Kobza pointed out, however, that “an impression” is a key term here, as this does not mean any particular activities of state authorities.

Transparency International – an organization fighting corruption worldwide - admits that Poles have a tendency to complain about bribery, especially in courts when they lose a case.

The TI ranking comprised of 180 countries. In the lead were: Denmark, Finland and New Zeeland. Somalia, Iraq and Haiti came last.