Greece 'most corrupt' EU country, new survey reveals

  • 5 December 2012
  • From the section Business
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Firebomb at anti-austerity riot in Greece
Image caption Economic and social turmoil in Greece has contributed to an increased perception of corruption

Greece is perceived to have the most corrupt public sector of all 27 EU countries, a new global survey reveals.

Worldwide, Denmark, Finland and New Zealand were seen as the least corrupt nations, while Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia were perceived to be the most corrupt.

Transparency International's 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index gathered views on 176 countries worldwide.

Two-thirds scored below 50, with zero highly corrupt and 100 very clean.

The UK ranked 17th in the world, with a score of 74.

Greece's global ranking fell from 80th in 2011 to 94th in 2012, reflecting the country's continuing economic turmoil and widespread tax evasion.

Italy was ranked 72nd, below EU-newcomer Romania at 66 in the index.

"Governments need to integrate anti-corruption actions into all public decision-making", said Huguette Labelle, chair of Transparency International (TI), a body set up in 1993 to expose and tackle countrywide corruption.

"Priorities include better rules on lobbying and political financing, making public spending and contracting more transparent and making public bodies more accountable to people."

TI believes there are strong correlations between poverty, conflict and perceived levels of corruption.