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Malta Risks ‘Democratic Backsliding’ After Record Drop In Global Corruption Index

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Malta has scored its lowest ever result in a global corruption index, well below the European average.

The 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption using a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

Malta ranked 53, sitting between Oman and Grenada in the Caribbean, which is a drop of seven points since 2015 and a “new all-time low” according to the report.

The country is one of twenty-two countries that “significantly decreased their scores” this year along with Bosnia & Herzegovina, Guatemala, Lebanon, Malawi and Poland. 

The index warned that persistent corruption is undermining health care system and is contributing to “demoractic backsliding” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 is not just a health and economic crisis. It is a corruption crisis. And one that we are currently failing to manage,” said Chair Of Transparency International, Delia Ferreria Rubio. 

According to the findings, countries that perform well on the index invest more in health care, are better able to provide universal health coverage and are less likely to violate democratic norms and institutions or the rule of law.

“The past year has tested governments like no other in memory, and those with higher levels of corruption have been less able to meet the challenge,” he said.

The Corruption Perceptions Index took into consideration the events surrounding the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, and its connection to unveiling corruption within the political elite, as well as Malta’s lengthy judicial proceedings and the island’s golden visa scheme.

“Malta is at a crossroads, apparently split over its national identity – as if the nation simultaneously wants to be part of the EU, without respecting the EU’s communalism and core values. The path it chooses will determine whether corruption continues to flourish unchecked to the detriment of its own people and its European neighbours,” the report said.

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