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Denmark still world's 'least corrupt country'

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Denmark still world's 'least corrupt country'
All of the Nordic countries scored highly, but Denmark took the cake. Photo: Colourbox
11:35 CET+01:00
Denmark leads the world for limiting corruption, while neighbouring Sweden has nudged into third place in a major global ranking.

Denmark topped a new ranking by anti-corruption campaign group Transparency International, taking the top spot for the second year in a row. Following Denmark were Nordic neighbours Sweden and Finland.

The Berlin-based group's Corruption Perception Index (CPI) is the most widely used gauge of corruption by governments, police, court systems, political parties and bureaucracies, measuring the perception of corruption in 175 countries.

According to a press release from the group, “high levels of press freedom; access to budget information so the public knows where money comes from and how it is spent; high levels of integrity among people in power; and judiciaries that don't differentiate between rich and poor” are the characteristics shared by top performers.

However, no country - not even the top-ranking one – is corruption free, says the report.

"Nordic countries score highly again – with Denmark, Finland, Sweden coming top three, and Norway not far behind. Yet we've seen big corruption cases in all four in 2015, including 13 Danish public employees arrested in a corporate bribery case; the mayor of Bergen, Norway's second largest city, charged with bribery; Sweden's partly state-owned TeliaSonera (in which Finland also has a minority stake) exiting Eurasian markets amid huge bribery allegations in Uzbekistan; and the ongoing trial of the former head of Helsinki police's anti-drug squad, charged with running a drug cartel of his own," the report stated. 

Half of all OECD countries are violating their international obligations to crack down on bribery by their companies abroad, according to the campaign group.

Elsewhere in Europe, the group said that only a handful of countries had climbed the rankings, with most places had stagnated and a few demonstrated an increasingly corrupt society, including Spain.

However, both Greece and the UK were found to have “significantly increased” their scores since 2012.

The five bottom-ranking countries in the report include Somalia, Afghanistan and South Sudan. Five of the ten most corrupt countries also rank among the world's least peaceful places, says the report.

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