The NGO Transparency International, on December 5, published its 2012 Corruption Perception Index, which measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption worldwide. Unsurprisingly, Finland and Denmark share the top rank. Also unsurprisingly, Somalia and North Korea share the lowest. Among the countries of the European Union, Greece is the lowest ranked at 94 (out of 176) at the same level as Djibouti and Columbia. It is 19 slots below the second lowest ranked EU country, Bulgaria.
This ranking is “totally wrong” and “unconvincing”, argues Greek daily To Vima because “Transparency International doesn’t investigate the problem but collects the impressions of citizens.” Thererfore, the paper notes –
In this time of crisis, of the agreement [on debt reduction signed with the IMF, the EU and the ECB] and of an unprecedented recession, in which public opinion is bombarded with bad news and endless references to economic scandals, what else could the citizens say? That doesn’t mean that corruption has increased or become more entrenched. How could there be more corruption in a country in which the economy is in disarray, in which the recession is at 7 per cent, in which the banks are paralysed and in which public works are on hold? This report does not hold water, that is clear. It is time to end this luxurious nonsense, hiding behind erudite titles such as the NGO Transparency. They are not telling the truth. The government must react quickly.
This view is questioned by Costas Bakouris, president of Transparency’s Greek office. In a comment piece in The Guardian, he explains that no later than last week, the European Commission and Transparency International Greece,
presented a plan for tackling corruption in the country. Looking at today’s Corruption Perceptions Index, it becomes imperative that the anti-corruption initiatives presented at the conference are implemented promptly.