Gov’t Blames Soros for Worsening Ranking on Transparency Corruption Index
Ábrahám Vass 2020.01.24.
Hungary, having scored 44 points, slipped back once again on a corruption scale, and is now ranked 70th in the world, according to the yearly report of corruption watchdog Transparency International. The government suspects US billionaire George Soros is behind the report.
The latest Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is based on 13 surveys and analyses performed by 12 organizations. It measures corruption in the public sector by surveying the opinion of experts and businessmen on the corruption infestation of the public institutional system, the economy, and society.
Hungary’s score worsened by 2 points and 6 places in comparison to last year, meaning that Hungary is now tied with Romania, and only Bulgaria performed worse in the EU, according to the institute. TI also notes that Hungary finished last both among V4 countries and among the EU’s 2004 joiners.
About the nature of corruption, the report states that it “has become extremely centralized in Hungary in the last decade. The essence of the actual Hungarian State corruption is to redistribute economic resources by various means, to create a new elite, and to award and privilege the actors close to the government. By legal means the State takes away or acquires certain group’s property, which is then given to other groups. This is institutionalized in many cases. As a result of public fund drains, and by infringing the Rule of Law, taxpayers’ money is transformed into private wealth. Corruption has become an integral part of the system, rather than a side effect.”
In connection with the rule of law, TI highlights that “as a result of a decade-long rule of the elite in power since 2010, the majority of the State institutions responsible for exercising control over the government are in a dead state.” While the courts proved their independence multiple times, “various signs suggest that the government has not given up on its attempts to weaken their impartiality.”
In addition, the “public procurement market still depends significantly on EU funds, and the use of the former is characterized by over-budgeting and the pressure of absorption,” noting that Hungary ranks second in terms of the amount of EU support per capita.
At the press conference, Executive Director of TI Hungary József Péter Martin argued that “Hungary has demonstrated favorable economic growth rates during the past seven years; however, long-term prospects are gloomy and competitiveness remains among the lowest in the region.”
The Government Information Center, in a statementclaimed that “Transparency International is a Soros-funded organisation which is engaged in an all-out attack on Hungary together with the entire Soros network. In actual fact, they are attacking our country because the Hungarian people say no to the resettlement of migrants.”
The Orbán government added that “Soros organisations have published a false and misleading report which fails to take even the most fundamental facts into consideration.”
The communique also claimed that “since 2010, public procurement has been fully transparent. In Hungarian public procurements, mostly Hungarian businesses, rather than large foreign corporations, are awarded contracts,” explaining that “the percentage of public procurements awarded to Hungarian small and medium-sized businesses has increased from 39 per cent to 58 per cent in terms of value.” Out of every 100 procurements, 87 were gained by SMEs last year. Procurements with only one offer have decreased significantly (from 34% to 25.5%) likewise to the number of public procurement procedures without publication to one thirteenth (3,600 to 274), which is half the EU average pro rata.