The countries worst hit by Europe’s debt crisis are also thought to be the most corrupt, according to a new global survey.
Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece all had the lowest scores in Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index.
The report’s Director Edda Mueller said people living in countries hit hardest economically perceived the problem of corruption to be worse.
‘‘This proves what we’ve have been saying for months, that corruption in countries is closely linked to the economic and political stability of a country,’‘ said Mueller.
Greece was considered the most corrupt among EU and eurozone countries. Its global ranking fell 14 places from 80th in 2011 to 94 this year.
Italy, Spain and Portugal, which are all mired in recession, also scored badly. The UK came 17th overall.
Worldwide, Denmark, Finland and New Zealand were seen as the least corrupt nations, while Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia were considered to be the most corrupt.
The international index measures the perception of corruption in the public and not the financial sector.
Transparency International corruption perception global ranking