Corruption overshadows China, Turkey, Italy, holding back development

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By Euronews
Corruption overshadows China, Turkey, Italy, holding back development

North Korea is the most corrupt country and Denmark is the least corrupt, according to the latest annual report by Transparency International, giving global rankings.

The non-governmental organisation monitors political corruption, police, judiciaries and public services. The index measures perceived corruption, using input from independent institutions specialising in governance and business. The Corruption Perceptions Index collects expert opinion from around the world.

Denmark scored just a hair better than New Zealand out of 175 countries.

North Korea actually came in at the bottom of the list with Somalia.

The next-worst was Afghanistan. Iraq was near the bottom.

Thanks to Transparency, the World Bank and the IMF now consider corruption one of the foremost obstacles to development.

The report noted: “Many of the countries that score [better] than the US impose donation and/or expenditure limits on political campaigns.”

The United States is placed 17th, Britain 14th, Germany 12th.

The US slipped two places compared to last year.

China slid dramatically 20 places to 100th place, in spite of President Xi Jinping’s determined anti-corruption stance.

Along with Greece, Romania and Bulgaria, Italy plunged 26 places.

France, then, got off relatively lightly, falling from 22nd to 26th, during a period of conflict of interest and party politics scandals.

Turkey dropped 5 places, to 45th, riding turbulent corruption allegations and scandal tearing through President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government, inner circle and family.

There have also been arrests of critical journalists, further tarnishing the Turkish standing.

“There are no outright winners in the fight against corruption”, says Transparency International’s Elena Panfilova

Transparency International has published its annual Corruption Index report. Euronews was joined by the vice-president of the NGO, Elena Panfilova from Moscow.

Euronews: Who are the main winners and main losers this year?

Panfilova: Well there are no outright winners in the fight against corruption because the countries which are able to stamp out all forms of corruption simply don’t exist. But the same countries that traditionally take the top positions on our list, share the top spot between them. We can mention the Scandinavian countries and several others who join them – Singapore, New Zealand and Canada. And we can call them the leaders. Further down the list there are the countries where the situation is not as good, not just with the fight against corruption but even with the state mechanisms and the relationship between the state and the society. These include countries like Somalia and Sudan who are unfortunately at the bottom of the list.

Euronews: Which countries had the most dramatic shift in the rankings in both a positive and negative manner?

Panfilova: This year Turkey and China considerably worsened. Russia remains at more or less the same position. A lot of anti-corruption reforms are happening only in the headlines in Russia. Laws are passed, new measures are adopted, but we can’t find the will inside ourselves, what we could call a political will for using all these wonderful laws we have in practice, not just on paper.

Euronews: Can you describe the situation in the EU? Is it possible to talk of an average index of corruption in Europe?

Panfilova: In general it’s not bad. Of course it’s clear that one block of the countries – the old EU members, retain their traditional places and rankings on the list. Sometimes they are moving up and sometimes down a little bit. But the new EU members have to catch up, some of them are managing this a little bit better, some of them are facing failure. The reason for this is the same: real and stable anti-corruption reforms take a considerable period of time to have an effect.