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EUROPE > Greece seen as EU's most corrupt country: NGO

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A man reads a newspaper as he walks inside an arcade near the main Omonoia square in Athens, Greece, 05 December 2012. The EU's Council of finance ministers on 04 December agreed to grant Greece an additional two years to correct its excessive budget deficit, following a Eurogroup decision on 26 November. EPA/ALKIS KONSTANTINIDIS

A man reads a newspaper as he walks inside an arcade near the main Omonoia square in Athens, Greece, 05 December 2012. The EU's Council of finance ministers on 04 December agreed to grant Greece an additional two years to correct its excessive budget deficit, following a Eurogroup decision on 26 November. EPA/ALKIS KONSTANTINIDIS

Greece is seen as the most corrupt country in the EU, Transparency International said Wednesday, adding that crisis-hit nations are being held back by an inability to deal with graft.
 
Publishing its annual Corruption Perceptions Index, the Berlin-based watchdog ranked Greece 94th out of 176 countries.
 
Perceived corruption in the country appeared to have worsened despite efforts to tackle graft. In last year's index, the debt-ravaged country was ranked 80th on a scale of least corrupt to most corrupt.
 
Fellow eurozone struggler Italy also fared poorly, coming in 72nd -- a decline from last year's study when the country was ranked 69th.
 
The director of Transparency International (TI) in Germany, Edda Mueller, told a news conference that the fight against corruption was intimately linked to the economic health of a country.
 
"The countries that are hardest-hit by the financial crisis have performed below expectations despite the reform efforts of recent months," Mueller said.
 
Corruption levels in a country are "closely linked to the economic stability of a country," she added.
 
"Therefore battling corruption is not just a moral necessity but it has a direct impact on the economic and political strength of a country," she added.
 
TI ranks countries on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean).
 
Top of the class this year were Denmark, Finland and New Zealand, each with a score of 90 due to a "strong access to information systems and rules governing the behaviour of those in public positions." Lawless Somalia, North Korea and Afghanistan remain rooted to the foot of the table, each scoring eight points. Afghanistan scored poorly despite efforts to tackle rampant corruption.

In these three countries, "the lack of accountable leadership and effective public institutions underscore the need to take a much stronger stance against corruption," TI stressed.

Cobus de Swardt, a TI spokesman, told AFP that Greece's result was "not positive at all" and should act as an "additional wake-up call" to the authorities in Athens.
 
"Fighting corruption ... is very much at the heart of getting Greece out of the crisis," he said.
 
Overall, the NGO urged greater efforts globally against corruption, noting that two-thirds of the countries listed scored below 50.
 
"After a year of focus on corruption, we expect governments to take a tougher stance against the abuse of power," TI chairwoman Huguette Labelle said in a statement.
 
The results of the survey show that "societies continue to pay the high cost of corruption," Labelle added.
 
Among other major nations, the United States came in 19th, just behind Japan and Britain, which were ranked equal 17th.
 
China was well below the 50-point mark, coming in 80th with a score of 39. Russia was in 133rd place with a meagre 28 points.
 
Germany was 13th with 79 points, ahead of fellow European powerhouse France, which was 22nd with 71 points.

December/05/2012

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john albay

12/6/2012 11:07:31 AM

well tell us some real news!! It is clear for any normal thinking person, that greece is mega corrupt,that is why it is Bankrupt. The problem is it is not the normal greek person who is corrupt it is the goverments (all of them) their businessmen cronies and the evil Bankksters who are corrupt and have caused the misery for the normal greek. It also would not suprise me if the greek church was also riddled with corruption as well.

DORUS LIVIS

12/6/2012 9:06:47 AM

I am sure that kind of news is useless. Every country gives its statistic data which may be ok and maybe not. I am sure that these data are not always completely true. We Greeks know the level of coruption and how it influences our lives. @Kerem: 10 years before Turkey's economy was a mess and now it is not. Does this mean that before 10 years it was corrupted and now it is not? Have you managed in 10 years to deal with corruption? Impressive. PS we are not enraged by bad news, we have are own..

mike alexander

12/6/2012 3:46:35 AM

kerem atan, I did not see any media in Greece to say that Turkey is the first country in Microsoft license piracy ! Did you red this accusation from one of the most prestigious American company against Turkey in the Greek media or I missed it ?

Vangelis Denaxas

12/5/2012 10:36:22 PM

Kerem Atan @ I can assure you that many news sites and media in Greece, apart from violations etc., talk about the economic boost of your country and about many of your new insfracture projects. I don't know if generally your media were doing the same for us at previous times, before the crisis.

kerem atan

12/5/2012 7:03:22 PM

@mike alexander, the greek media pays attention to the airspace violations generally rather than whats happening in turkey.if greece wasnt corrupt, it wouldnt be a debt stricken country now.this article is not made up by turks after all. think greeks shouldnt read newspapers if they are enraged by the negative news about greece.

mike alexander

12/5/2012 5:00:06 PM

Oh boy ! I have been reading the Greek and Turkish news media, and to my surprise it seems to me that the Turkish media watches very closely and reports every negative news about Greece. Why ? In the contrary, the Greek media, it seems that it pays no attention to the Turkish happenings. Positive or negative. Why ? Here in America, mainly I read the good news and the economic support my Government provides to Greece in order to recover economically. No negative news. Why ?

Elias Kollias

12/5/2012 4:43:49 PM

As someone who is very familiar with the situation in Greece and of the current state which above all is a humanitarian and not an economic crises anymore, such articles infuriate me.THey have absolutely no validation because simply corruption is a crime that exists only if money goes around.....and there is no money to go around in Greece brothers and sisters!

Tekion Particle

12/5/2012 4:24:10 PM

Where did Turkey come? If you are going to write about this then publish the whole list or provide a link where interested can see the whole list.

Turk Uzan

12/5/2012 3:51:39 PM

For anyone wondering about Turkey, like I did after reading this article, 49 points, 54th place
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