Corruption in public sector worsens

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 23-01-2020 10:39:00 · 0 Comments

In 2019, Portugal worsened its score in a 'ranking' on levels of corruption in the public sector drawn up by the NGO Transparency International (TI) and released Thursday.

Portugal now has 62 points (out of a possible 100) on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), an annual 'ranking' published by TI that is considered the main global indicator of corruption levels in the public sector of each country.

This means a slight worsening in Portugal's score, which in 2018 was 64. The higher the score, the less corruption the country has.

In 2017, Portugal had a score of 63 points and was in 29th position.

Portugal is still two points below the EU average, which is now 64 points, but 19 points above the overall average, which remains at 43 points, compared with 2018.

Considering only the EU, Portugal is the 13th Member State with the least corruption among the 28 (the UK still appears in the data, despite 'Brexit'), thus remaining in the middle of the table. The TI report does not mention specific cases of corruption in Portugal.

The Member States considered the least corrupt are Denmark (87 points), Finland (86 points) and Sweden (85 points).

At the other extreme, there is more corruption in the public sector in Bulgaria (43 points), Romania (44 points) and Hungary (also 44 points).

In the report accompanying the ranking, Transparency International points out that "despite the improvement", the EU "is not immune to corruption".

According to the organisation, "issues of conflict of interest, misappropriation of state resources for electoral purposes, insufficient publicity about party and political campaign financing and the lack of media independence remain prevalent" in the EU.

Countries like Hungary, Poland and Romania have adopted measures that call into question judicial independence," the NGO points out, considering that reforms of this kind, which have already received severe criticism from Brussels, "weaken member states' capacity to deal with cases of high-level corruption.

TI also draws attention to the case of Malta, which has dropped six points in the 'ranking' since 2015, and now has 54.

Recalling the case of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Maltese investigative journalist murdered three years ago, TI points out that "despite requests from Maltese citizens, family and the international community for the case to be resolved, the government continues to drag the case out".

For TI, this case has led to "Malta's decline" in the ranking, which was also due to cases like Panama Papers, the collapse of a Maltese bank, and 'gold' residence visa regimes, leading to the fact that today "the country is still mired in corruption.

The CPI index evaluates 180 countries from the perceptions of experts and international organizations, from a total of 13 sources, using a scale of zero to 100 points, where zero means "high corruption" and 100 "high transparency".


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