Report finds Latvia still most corrupt Baltic state

Latvia is still seen as the most corrupt of the three Baltic states, while its relative position in a ranking of 146 nations remains unchanged, the Berlin-based Transparency International said in an annual report released Oct. 20.

Latvia placed 57th in the latest Corruption Perception Index survey, equal with Slovakia. However, its score on Transparency International’s 10-point scale improved to 4.0 from last year’s 3.8.

Latvia also is perceived as the second-most corrupt of the 10 new European Union nations, said Delna, the Latvian anti-corruption organization affiliated with Transparency International. Only Poland is seen as more corrupt.

The Corruption Perception Index is based on polls of business people, academics and country analysts. This year it measured how experts view the level of corruption in 146 nations.

Lithuania ranked 44th, alongside Kuwait and South Africa, a drop of three spots from last year’s ranking of 41st. It is the second year in a row that Lithuania fell in the ranking. Its score also slipped to 4.6 from last year’s 4.7.

Estonia climbed to 31st, equal with Botswana and Slovenia, after falling to 33rd last year. Estonia’s score improved to 6.0 after dropping to 5.5 last year.

Finland once again was perceived as least corrupt, scoring 9 on the 10-point scale. Bangladesh continues to be seen as one of the two most corrupt,  joined in last place this year by Haiti. The United States ranked 17th and Russia ranked 90th.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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