State Takeover

It has been approved by examining corruption issues in ten EU candidate-countries that there still is a rather high level of state takeover – cases when decisions of the government are being bought in private interests – in Latvia. This fact has been acknowledged in the annual report made by the EU experts.

It is noted in the recently published report of the Institute of Open Society that among the candidate-countries Latvia is conspicuous for the fact that decisions of the Saeima (the parliament) and the government can be bought. 40% of the interviewed companies have admitted that they are affected by the decision buying in the parliament but 49% claim that they are affected by the decision buying in the government. The Central Bank seems to be the least corrupted. Decision buying in criminal cases was acknowledged by 21% of the interviewed, in commercial cases – by 26%, in funding of the parties – by 35%. Latvia also has the highest index in economic takeover.

Bulgaria and Slovakia also have rather high takeover indexes. The corruption perception index has remained the same in Latvia – it still shows that the most corruptible are the customs, the road police, the “Lattelekom” as well as the courts. Differences have been noted in the views of the public about the unrighteousness of the institutions and personal experience concerning corruption though.

Although more than 70% of the interviewed people considered the customs as being the most corrupted, only 5.6% had actually given a bribe to the customs that year. The majority – 17.2% have confessed to the interviewers that they have mostly bribed the road police. Summing up the results, the performers of this research as well as some politicians have agreed that it would be possible to decrease the level of corruption by maximizing the publicity of government actions.

Inese Voika – the chairwoman of the Community for Candour “Delna”: “People still have no easy access to information; the principle of candour isn’t introduced systematically and doesn’t affect many institutions which we think it should affect – like the state companies.”

 Andrew Rasbas – head of the European Commission believes that it is very important to eliminate corruption in the highest levels of power, because only then it would be possible to remove corruption that exists among the lower functionaries.



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