Czech Republic still struggling to deal with corruption
The European Commission released its first ever corruption report on Monday and the news was not good. EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom described the level of corruption in the EU as “breath-taking” and the report indicates that the Czech Republic makes a significant contribution to this unhappy state of affairs. Among the statistics presented: 95 percent of Czechs perceive corruption as widespread and 71 percent of companies consider it to be the main hurdle to doing business in this country. I asked Radim Bureš of the Czech branch of Transparency International how well the report reflects the present state of affairs.
“Yes, that is a very good question. First of all let me say that I appreciate the EC’s view because it is not speaking only about problems in public procurement but also about political accountability and political leadership. The last elections showed the electorate’s deep dissatisfaction with the traditional parties which patronized these shadow business interests and had links to them. These parties were rejected in the elections and the new parties have come with a clear anti-corruption message. I hope that they will stick to their words and I am moderately optimistic that the present government will act better than the previous ones. “