For the second year in a row, Latvia has slipped in an index that ranks countries according to perceptions of how corrupt they are.
Latvia earned a score of 4.3 and dropped to a ranking of 59th in the 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index released Oct. 26 by the Berlin-based Transparency International. Last year, Latvia received a score of 4.5 and ranked 56th.
Two years ago, Latvia scored 5.0, its highest result since 1998 when the country was first included in the index.
Transparency International, which describes itself as a global civil society organization leading the fight against corruption, used various surveys to evaluate 178 countries for the 2010 survey.
Nearly three-fourths of the countries in this year’s index scored below five, on a scale from zero (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 10 (perceived to have a low level of corruption).
“These results signal that significantly greater efforts must go into strengthening governance across the globe,” Huguette Labelle, chair of Transparency International, said in a press release announcing the 2010 results. “With the livelihoods of so many at stake, governments’ commitments to anti-corruption, transparency and accountability must speak through their actions. Good governance is an essential part of the solution to the global policy challenges governments face today.”
In Latvia, the anti-corruption organization Delna—an affiliate of Transparency International—called on the government to spend more resources to battle the problem. The economic crisis in the country has fed corruption, the organization noted in a press release.
Among European Union members, Latvia ranks 25th, ahead of Slovakia, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria and last-place Greece.
In the global index, Estonia earned a score of 6.5, down from the 6.6 recorded last year. Nonetheless, Estonia saw its ranking rise one spot to 26th.
Lithuania earned 5.0, up from the 4.9 it received last year. Lithuania’s ranking rose to 46th, up from 52nd last year.
First in the index are Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore, all with a score of 9.3. The United States, scoring 7.1, ranked 22nd. Russia, with a score of 2.1, ranked 154th. Ranked last is Somalia, with an index of 1.1.
In compiling the Corruption Perceptions Index, Transparency International used information from up to 13 different institutions, such as the World Economic Forum, Global Insight, Freedom House and the World Bank.
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