Society

Cyprus Slips in Corruption Ratings

Already dealing with a growing economic crisis and capital controls limiting how much money people can withdraw from its beleaguered banks, Cyprus’ standing in transparency is getting slightly worse after Transparency International (TI) put it at 31st in a world survey, a drop of two places from 2012.

Among the 31 European countries that took part in the survey, Cyprus ranked 16th. TI said the ranking fell for three reasons: corruption in relations of political parties with the business environment, lack of regulations and will for setting up substantive prevention regulations, tracking and penalizing corruption and the economic crisis which favors corruption.

TI’s Cyprus office handed the survey and recommendations to President Nicos Anastasiades. Corruption remains a critical problem for the government as it tries to restore credibility and integrity in the banks and governance after being forced to go hat-in-hand to international lenders for a 10 billion euro ($13.67 billion) bailout that required confiscation of nearly half the assets in bank accounts over 100,000 euros ($137,000).

Τransparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 offered a warning that the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery continue to ravage societies around the world although none of the reports have done anything visible to change it as the problem remains rampant and almost unchecked, apart from a few countries, predominantly in Scandinavia, which have low levels of graft.

More than two thirds of the 177 countries in the 2013 index score below 50, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean).

The Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 demonstrates that all countries still face the threat of corruption at all levels of government, from the issuing of local permits to the enforcement of laws and regulations, said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International

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