Denmark has been ranked as the least corrupt EU country, while Greece has gained the unwanted distinction as being the most corrupt.
Transparency International (TI) revealed the standings in its 2013 corruption perceptions index, which took 177 nations into account. The rankings are based on opinion of the countries’ public sector corruption, with a maximum score of 100 regarded as “very clean” and a minimum score of 0 viewed as “highly corrupt”.
Denmark, which came joint top with New Zealand, scored an impressive 91, while Scandinavian counterparts Sweden, Norway and Finland also did well. Greece, however, performed poorly, scoring just 40 points – the same number recorded by China.
TI’s EU office director Carl Dolan said there were no dramatic movement’s in this year’s rankings, noting that while Slovenia and Spain have dropped, Latvia, Estonia and even Greece have actually improved on last year’s score. He pointed out that even though Greece is still bottom of the EU countries, it scored 40 points this year in comparison to 36 last year.
Dolan explained that corruption scandals linked to the financing of political parties and insufficient protection for whistleblowers undermines the confidence people have in their governments. He said it is relatively easy for “dirty money” to avoid being detected, which is an issue that needs a collective response from both EU and national leaders.