Greece 'most corrupt' EU country, new survey reveals

Firebomb at anti-austerity riot in Greece 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.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 166.

    The research doesn't show the real level of corruption. As a man living in Bulgaria I've been facing corruption almost every day. For example if go to a hospital and you need a surgery, most of the doctors will ask you to give them extra money or whatever you have in order to perform the surgery. If you refuse to give something there's a chance not to get the necessary attention.

  • rate this

    Comment number 156.

    Greece is" perceived" to have the most corrupt public sector of all 27 EU countries

    Perceived is the operative word . Perhaps other countries public sectors including the UK are just as corrupt but rather more discrete about it .

  • rate this

    Comment number 140.

    Maybe they do not see it as corruption. If you grow up within a culture where cheating is normal, it is hard to see cheating as anything other than normal. Like exceeding the speed limit in UK

  • rate this

    Comment number 91.

    If you follow the link to the Transparency Project website, the countires are the top would be those you would expect, as are those towards the bottom. Interesting things are where you have outliers in a region. EG Botswana is a beacon of propriety in a sea of southern Africa (even all Africa) corruption. UK has issues, true, but these are nothing compared to grand scale corruption in so many.

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    Every Country (including the UK and the rest of the EU) has some level of corruption. Before we get too judgemental we need to ask what the ordinary Greeks can do about it? Who volunteers to pay their full tax when all around them are cheating? The key is probably tax reform ie collecting most tax through VAT and property tax (the easiest to enforce).


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