TI: Hungary's perception of corruption worsens

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Hungary's perception of corruption increased in the past year, Transparency International (TI) announced today. "The mere fact that Hungarian tax chief Ildiko Vida, who was banned from the U.S. (for alleged corruption), is still in office signals that Hungarian public power is not accountable," said Péter József Martin, CEO of TI in Hungary.

Hungary was given 54 points on the Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International (TI), and was dropped from 20th place to 21st place in the region, as corruption here was perceived to increase, the Hungarian office of TI announced at a press conference in Budapest today. Worldwide, Hungary was ranked 47th out of 175 governments rated for corruption.

The index is a measure on a scale of 0-100, with zero being corrupt and 100 being clean. The measurments were taken through summer, and did not include the Vida affair, so Hungary's perception is likely to worsen, Martin said.

Overall TI investigated 175 countries and more than two thirds received less than 50 points. Countries ranked as low in corruption perception included Denmark (92), New Zealand (91), Finland (89), Sweden (87), Norway and switzerland (both 86).

A press statement released by TI says that there is no government transparency in Hungary. It noted that Világgazdasági Forum recently publsihed a survey of governmental transparency investigating 144 countries and Hungary ranked 119th. TI added in the statement that the Hungarian government has killed all the institutions that could monitor the government's activities.

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