The latest Transparency International corruption ranking report, which blasted Romania with the lowest score among EU-27 states on Monday, does not mirror the real level of corruption in the country because it does not reflect the reforms reported over the past year, Mikos Marschall, TI regional director for Europe and Central Asia, suggest in statements for the German

href=",1518,446803,00.html" TARGET="_blank">Der Spiegel Online.

The reality is the country is less corrupt than perceived”, he says, referring to the 3.1 score Romania has received in the TI Corruption Reception Index published on Monday. The 3.1, on a scale from zero to ten, means rampant corruption.

This is the second lowest ranking in Europe after Albania and the lowest among the countries that would form the European Union in 2007.

Der Spiegel also quotes the Economist Intelligence Unit in showing that the FDI has been rising in Romania, which means business in the country is becoming more attractive. And the German publication mentions Romanian Justice minister Monica Macovei as one to thank for advances in fighting corruption.

Still, it reports that “bribes are considered commonplace for basic services like health care” while the Romanian Justice system is struggling. And it quotes TI CEO David Nussbaum, who believes pressure is still needed to boost reform in Romania and Bulgaria despite ongoing progress.