SPAIN is more corrupt than Uruguay, Chile and the United Arab Emirates.
According to Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index Spain is the 31st least corrupt country in the world just one place ahead of Botswana and neighbouring Portugal.
The Index ranks countries and territories according to their perceived levels of public sector corruption with Somalia, North Korea and Myanmar topping the list, while the least corrupt countries are New Zealand, Denmark and Finland.
Interestingly the United States saw its worst result for 16 years, falling to 24 on the list, with the UK at 16.
Meanwhile Italy comes in at a shocking joint 69 with Ghana and Macedonia with Greece at 80.
It comes as the report warns that only 49 of the 183 countries studied meet transparency standards in the public sector this year, despite citizens increasingly demanding an end to corrupt practices.
“This year we have seen corruption on protestors’ banners be they rich or poor. Whether in a Europe hit by debt crisis or an Arab world starting a new political era, leaders must heed the demands for better government,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International.
Meanwhile Anne Koch, Transparency International’s Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia insisted the index provides a sobering picture of Europe.
“We should ask ourselves why in a region that includes some of the most developed democracies of the world, there is a perception of serious corruption in the public sphere,” she said.
“At a time of economic crisis in much of the region with millions of people losing their jobs, it is important to remember that corruption, too, damages the livelihoods and the futures of millions of citizens.”