European countries least corrupt

27 February 2008

European Countries are among the least corrupt in the world according to the 2007 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), produced by transparency International, the Berlin-based anti-corruption non-governmental organisation.

Of the top 30 least corrupt countries, 16 were European. Denmark and Finland tied with New Zealand as being perceived as the least corrupt countries in the world. All of the EU member states were placed in the top half of the league table.

The ranking is based on a series of surveys among business people and analysts designed to measure their perceptions of corruption. A maximum score of 10 indicates a highly honest society, while a score of 0 indicates high levels of corruption.

This year's CPI shows that corruption is most widespread in poor countries. Huguette Labelle, chair of Transparency International said, “Low scoring countries need to take these results seriously and act now to strengthen accountability in public institutions. But action from top scoring countries is just as important, particularly in cracking down on corrupt activity in the private sector.”

Surveys of different industry types consistently find construction and public works to be the most prone to corruption. The industry ranks as bad, or worse than, the arms trade in terms of the perceived level of corruption.

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