The fairtrade watchdog Transparency International reports in its latest global roundup that two-thirds of the 177 countries it surveys are below average in the corruption stakes.
The report highlights continuing political pressure resulting in market distortions caused by bribery, cronyism, a lack of accountability and inadequate legal systems.
“We have two-thirds of all countries, 177 countries in total, where we can see that they score under 50 points, which means they are below the average, and corruption in those countries, two thirds of the 177, are still to be seen in a very critical situation,” says Transparency’s German head Edda Muller.
Top of the class is Denmark, followed by New Zealand and Finland. The USA was only 19th, while among the major European economies France, (22), again lagged behind Germany, (12), and the UK, (14).
Greece’s position improved, but it is still a lowly 80th, a potential turn-off for investors and the worst in Europe. Somalia, Afghanistan and North Korea tied for last place, unchanged from last year.