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Corruption rampant worldwide

Corruption still a massive global problem

Jacq(Photo: Flickr/401(K))

Transparency International released its’ 2012 Corruption Perception Index on Wednesday and it reveals little improvement in public sector corruption. Results from the annual rankings show that more than two-thirds of the 176 countries surveyed by the anti-corruption watchdog were perceived as very corrupt.

According to Transparency International (TI), “Corruption continues to ravage societies around the world.” The organisation’s chair, Huguette Labelle, called on governments to “take a tougher stance against the abuse of power.”

Countries are scored on a scale from zero, which is very corrupt, to 100, which is very clean. Any score below 50 is deemed to have a “serious corruption problem.” Of the 176 countries surveyed, only 53 managed to score 50 or above.

New regimes, same old problems
TI noted that although citizens in several countries challenged corrupt leaders and forced them from power, it has not improved their positions on the index.

The Arab Spring revolutions have so far failed to reduce corruption and levels of bribery and abuse of power remain high. Egypt, which scored just 32, fell six places and is now ranked 118th; Morocco slipped down eight places to 88th; Tunisia fell two places to 75th. Libya scored 21 but that was an improvement and it rose from 168th place to 160th.

The Euro zone economies worst hit by the sovereign debt crisis also fared poorly on the 2012 index: Greece scored 36 and dropped to 94th place and Italy came in at 72nd with a score of 42. 

Portugal, Spain and Ireland all managed to score above the 50 mark but performed poorly compared to Euro zone leaders Germany and The Netherlands. The rankings will surely be a worry to European governments and citizens, who have bailed out the struggling euro zone economies to the tune of billions of euros.

Leaders and losers
Denmark, Finland and New Zealand maintained their usual place at the top of the table; all three scored 90 points and shared joint first place. Sweden, Singapore and Switzerland were the next highest ranked nations.

The usual suspects were at the bottom of the table as well: Somalia, North Korea and Afghanistan shared joint 174th place with a score of just eight. Sudan is in 173rd place and Myanmar (Burma) is 172nd.

While the low rankings way be an embarrassment to individual governments, the real losers are the people who suffer under corrupt regimes.


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