Why this story matters:
Slovak PM Robert Fico recently ranted against the media for failing to inform citizens about the government's ongoing efforts to tackle corruption.
A few embassies, mostly from the Anglosphere, have praised Slovakia for its battle against corruption and its improved ranking in the Transparency International corruption index. However, these accomplishments came as a surprise to most Slovaks.
A Eurobarometer survey shows that citizens of Slovakia are very much still concerned about the level of corruption in Slovakia. Almost half of them think it is on the rise. Every third Slovak believes the situation is stagnant and a mere 9 percent claimed to see improvement.
Interestingly enough, 63 percent of Slovaks declared being aware of the political agenda against corruption, but consider it a failure. An astonishing four out of five Slovaks agree that corruption is part of doing business. And most tellingly, a fourth of respondents said they personally knew someone who gave or received a bribe.
From this set of data, it is relatively easy to gauge how well PM Fico's fight against corruption is going, but, curiously, he appears to have come to a completely different conclusion.
Details from the story:
- Slovak PM Robert Fico was proud to announce his latest successes in the fight against corruption. Embassies of the USA, Belgium, Canada, Netherland and Great Britain praised Slovakia for this accomplishment.
- A recently published Eurobarometer survey showed that few Slovaks believe the situation is improving. Many believe the situation is worsening.
- The government's new anti-corruption bureau recently made the headlines because the wife of its director is employed by fascist leader Marian Kotleba (People's Party - Our Slovakia).
- Well-known Slovak wistleblower Zuzana Hlávková and her former colleague Pavol Szalai have launched a project aimed at supporting whistleblowers who work for the state.