Thursday, 3 January 2013
Ukraine: Corrupt And Stoic
KIEV, Ukraine -- It seems to be a bit of a cliché to look back at the ending year and summarize the results but there is no better way to monitor the progress — or lack thereof. Looking at various 2012 rankings for Ukraine, the picture can be described as “one step forward, two steps back,” but the good news is that the country doesn’t stand still. Among positive news, is the easing of doing business in Ukraine. This year’s World Bank’s ranking– gauging the country’s business climate – showed a noticeable improvement: Doing Business 2013 index went up 15 points from 137 to 152. Out of 185 countries included in the list, it’s still pretty low, but it’s the direction that counts here. At the same time, freedom – measured by Freedom House – maintains Ukraine’s status “Partly Free”, after being “Free” two years ago. “Free” is the most desirable ranking, with the highest score of 1. In 2012 Ukraine’s freedom status, affected by the awkward political situation with imprisoned opposition leader – Ukraine’s former prime minister Yulia Tymomshenko – worsened, rising to 3.5 from 3 in 2011. Lack of freedom, seeming to be slightly independent of corruption as gauged by the Transparency International Corruption Perception index, improved in 2012. Out of 176 countries – with 176 being most corrupt – Ukraine holds 144 place, scoring 26 out of 100 possible points, with 100 representing the highest transparency. Ukraine still remains one of the most corrupt countries in the world, but the 2011 ranking was even worse: 152 out of 182 countries, compared to 2010 when the country held 134th place. The Transformation Index, showing trends in developing countries in terms of democracy and market economy, showed decline, suggesting a weakening democracy and lack of transparency. Among other interesting rankings of the countries around the world in 2012, there is the Gallop poll that officially labels Ukraine as one of the most stoic and reserved nations of them all. The survey measured the level of emotional expressiveness among various countries. It turns out, in terms of showing their emotions, expressing positive or negative feelings, Ukrainians – as well as the rest of the post-Soviet countries – ranked as the least emotional, after Singaporeans. May be this explains why it takes such a long time for Ukraine’s progress to come about and free to country to take to the path of prosperity it deserves.