An independent conservative columnist takes Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index at face value and accuses the government of institutionalized corruption. A pro-government commentator, on the other hand, accuses TI of serving the interest of investors rather than offering a fair assessment.
According to the annual Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, issued on Wednesday, Hungary has slipped 9 places below its ranking a year ago, to become the 57th least corrupt country in the world. Among EU members, Hungary only ranks higher than Bulgaria, Italy and Greece. The report, which claims to be “the most comprehensive corruption ranking” aggregates and standardizes reports from 13 international organizations which measure the subjective perception of corruption rather than actual corruption. Most of the original data is non-representative and is based on several expert reports and interviews.
In Magyar Nemzet, Tamás Wiedemann accuses the government of institutionalizing and legalizing corruption. Wiedemann takes the TI report at face value and as a proof of the government’s increasing corruption. The independent conservative columnist writes that voters in 2010 hoped that the Orbán government would put an end to corruption, but accuses the government of instead capturing the state and channelling public funds to pro-government oligarchs.
Magyar Idők’s Otttó Gajdics is not at all surprised by TI’s criticism of Hungary. Gajdics writes that TI has been supported by George Soros, and so the TI index reflects more Soros’ interests than the true state of democracy. Gajdics accuses Transparency International of tinkering with the data so that countries where foreign investors can interfere in political and economic decisions will get better grades, while those that try to become sovereign will be labelled as undemocratic ‘populist autocracies’.