President Saakashvili said that Transparency International’s (TI) estimations on level of corruption in Georgia were not objective enough, as it failed to fully reflect the progress Georgia had done in fight against corruption.
Speaking at a televised meeting with a group of people engaged in road infrastructure rehabilitation, Saakashvili said that despite aggression against Georgia and despite “internal destabilization in which, unfortunately, external force was also actively involved and is involved,” Georgia managed to be listed 11th in the World Bank’s recent survey on ease of doing business and “we managed to become the world’s number one in fight against corruption.”
“This is not Saakashvili’s PR, as some hot-headed and hot-brained persons think; this is a reality; this is Transparency International’s [estimation],” Saakashvili said.
“I think that their [Transparency International’s] estimation is still unobjective, because [Georgia] made much more progress than they portrayed it; but even they [Transparency International] acknowledge that we are number one in the world in fighting against corruption,” Saakashvili said.
According to TI’s 2009 Corruption Perception Index, released in November, the level of corruption in Georgia has fallen slightly. The index ranked Georgia 66th out of 180 countries, and gave a score of 4.1, against 3.9 in 2008. The index scores countries on a scale from 0 - perceived to be highly corrupt to 10 - perceived to have low levels of corruption.
In 2003 Georgia’s score in the index was 1.8, falling in a category of countries where corruption, according to TI, was “perceived to be pervasive.”