December 5th, 2012

Is Hungary really less corrupt than the Czech Republic and Slovakia?

Leading global anti-corruption NGO Transparency International just released its 2012 corruption index, and according to it, Hungary seems less corrupt than it did last year!

The latest edition of the famous ranking shows Hungary moving up a full eight notches in the global competition for the title “world’s least crooked country,” from 54th out of 183 countries surveyed last year to 46th out of 176 examined in 2012. No word on what happened to the seven countries that appeared last year but dropped out this year, though one assumes nothing good.

Anyway, as always the focus is not where Hungary scores in terms of the whole world, or in Europe (solidly in the bottom third), but vis-à-vis our local competition. And here’s where things get interesting: according to the results, while Hungary trails Poland (rank: 41) it not only beat Slovakia (62) but the Czech Republic (54). All of which, it might be pointed out, came out looking positively Danish (1) compared to just-next-door Ukraine (144).

That said, TI said Hungary continues to be “heavily” impacted by graft and other forms of corruption.

Meanwhile, note that the entire index is based on how locals see corruption – which is why it is officially called the “Corruption Perceptions Index” – meaning that maybe what seemed corrupt last year this year just seems normal.

Erik D'Amato (@erikdamato) is publisher and editor-in-chief of the All Hungary Media Group.
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  • Leto

    I wonder why you always forget to write about things like the Gyurcsány-Bajnai governments spent five times more on consulting than the second Orbán-government plans to spend in the entire government term:

    Browsing the list, it’s very obvious that most of the money went to left liberal crooks.

    • Keep trying, Leto

      Probably because he knows that Fidesz has found other, less transparent, ways of giving money to their cronies, such as drastically raising the amount spent on advertising, which all goes to companies owned by allies (or even members) of the regime. Those advertisers return the favor by excluding advertising that doesn’t flatter the government (and probably also by giving money to ruling politicians).

  • Daniel

    Hungary actually moved up on the corruption index?

    Well I am shocked, because since I get my news solely from, I automatically assumed that the Orban Supreme Dicatorship has plunged Hungary down on the corruption index somewhere near Bangladesh. I guess this is just another example of how “accurately” this website portrays the situation within Hungary. And how unbiased it truly is.

    War IS peace right? Okay, just wanted to make sure.

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