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Bouquets & corruption BRICbats
Transparency International’s corruption index kills Russia’s image
Corruption, bribery and nepotism are the three pillars on which some modern economies are being based. The well known Berlin based anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency International (TI), has come out with its annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI) to measure corruption on a scale of 0 [zero being the lowest rate of corruption] to 10. Expectably, poor countries like Somalia and Burma lie at the bottom of the table close to a perfect ten. Whereas small trouble-free and rich democracies of Western Europe like Denmark and Sweden lie at the top.
Another BRIC nation Brazil is placed somewhere in the middle of the table, at a mediocre – though relatively better – 62 [up from 70 last year]. Brazil could have scored magnificently better, but last year’s corruption charge –the ‘mensalao’ episode – where President Lula’s Worker Party is alleged to have bribed lawmakers in return for their support to the party in the lower house of the Parliament, played spoilsport! Further to that, there have also been allegations against the party of using illicit funds for the election campaign, where Lula’s chief of staff Jose Dirceu, is now directly accused of corruption.
Though the rankings have been more or less as per expectations, a stunning surprise is Russia, whose malevolently glorious CPI score of 2.4 gifts it an equally glorious rank of 126 out of 180 countries covered. Even countries like Zambia, Vietnam, and Nicaragua are above Russia. Seen relative to the fact that even India – an accepted indolently corrupt nation – managed a rank of 85 [down from 72 last year], and communist China managed a rank of 72 Russia seems to be drowning faster than Medvedev’s media appearances. Does it matter to Putin? With a large and insolent oil supply, we guess not...
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