Greece was the European Union member state that saw the biggest decrease in annual rankings measuring perceptions of corruption across the world.
It dropped three points in a year and is one of five countries in the bloc considered to be more corrupt than it is clean, euronews.com informs.
Transparency International’s (TI) rankings listed Bulgaria as the EU country where corruption is felt the most. Greece is the second worst in the bloc followed by Hungary, Romania and Croatia.
The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2018, released on Tuesday by Transparency International, shows the constant failure of most countries to significantly control corruption, which leads to the democracy crisis in the world. Romania is 24th in the rankings, down one point against 2017 from 48 to 47 points. The rankings is made up from 0 to 100 points, with 0 meaning ‘very corrupt’ and 100 meaning ‘not at all corrupt’, hotnews.ro informs.
Bulgaria is on the last position in the EU with 42 points, down one point against last year, and Greece down 3 points to 45. Hungary gained one point up to 46 in 2018.
Transparency International Romania says the fight against corruption is related to powerful and stable institutions as a whole, responsible leaders involved in the life of local communities.
Almost two thirds of the 180 countries under analysis have scored under 50 points, the world overall average being of 43 points. Most of the countries made no progress in the past years.
The EU average is approx. 65 points, down one points as compared to last year. Denmark – 88 points, Finland – 85 points and Sweden – 85 points are the top three countries, the same ones as in 2017.
Dr Anna Damaskou, from TI in Greece, said the Novartis scandal — which saw the pharmaceutical company investigated over allegations it bribed public officials — had contributed to the rise in perceptions of corruption.
“The fact there has been no concrete outcome of this case yet means it’s been like a cloud over the country,” she told Euronews.
At the other end of the scale, Denmark, Finland and Sweden were considered the least corrupt, although all have lost points since five years ago.
“With many democratic institutions under threat across the globe — often by leaders with authoritarian or populist tendencies — we need to do more to strengthen checks and balances and protect citizens’ rights,” said Patricia Moreira, TI’s managing director.
“Corruption chips away at democracy to produce a vicious cycle, where corruption undermines democratic institutions and, in turn, weak institutions are less able to control corruption.”