Georgia illustrates how to break the "vicious cycle" of corruption, says World Bank

By bne IntelliNews February 1, 2012

bne -

Georgia's success in fighting corruption illustrates that it is not an "inevitable" product of particular environments, and shows other countries that it is possible to deal with, a new report from the World Bank says.

Less than a decade ago, "corruption permeated nearly every aspect of life in Georgia" and bribes were needed to access virtually all public services, says the report, "Fighting Corruption in Public Services: Chronicling Georgia's Reforms".

However, the "zero-tolerance" policy introduced in reforms implemented since the 2003 Rose Revolution has pushed most indicators of corruption towards those in the more advanced EU countries, the report claims.

"Corruption is sometimes seen as endemic, a product of traditional local culture, and, as such, inevitable," says Philippe Le Houérou, World Bank vice president for the Europe and Central Asia region. "Georgia's experience shows that the vicious cycle of endemic corruption can be broken and, with appropriate and decisive reforms, can be turned into a virtuous cycle."

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