While African nations and those in the Middle East are seen as most corrupt nations with Somalia and Afghanistan topping this year’s (2016) list, all focus is now shifted to developed countries like Spain, Italy, Turkey etc – which has risen on Transparency International’s list of world’s most corrupt developed nations in the world according to Business Insider.
Corruption is like a parasite in every country in the world; developed or not. It might come as a surprise to discover why the so-called developed countries are not exonerated from the list.
As it is customary, the Transparency International (TI) releases an annual list of the most corrupt countries, and in one of the reports released in 2014, it described a corrupt country as,
“Fast-growing economies whose governments refuse to be transparent and tolerate corruption, create a culture of impunity in which corruption thrives”
“Bribes and backroom deals don’t just steal resources from the most vulnerable – they undermine justice and economic development, and destroy public trust in government and leaders.”
It is pointed out that while no countries score 0 (highly corrupt), there are also none scoring a perfect 100 (very clean).
10 Most Corrupt Developed Countries in the World
Slovenia is one among developed countries, where the overlap between business and politics has a particularly damaging effect on public procurement. There have been several high-profile corruption scandals in Slovenia in recent years. Businesses perceive bribery as an established way of doing business in the country. In 2013 and 2014, there were mass protests against Prime Minister Janez Janša and opposition leader Zoran Janković because they had been accused of failing to properly declare their personal assets.
According to the Europe director of Transparency International, Anne Koch, “Spain is plagued by an almost endless number of corruption scandals. This included a number of cases within Mariano Rajoy’s conservative People’s Party, in which politicians were accused of embezzling public funds, bribery, and abuse of office. Tax evasion and hunting elephants by the Spanish royal family also contributed.” Overall, Spain gained 58 points from Transparency International.
8. Czech Republic
In the most recent Corruption Perceptions Index, the Czech Republic gained 56 points, up from 51 in last year’s survey. The score seems to reflect the end of a major political-corruption scandal, which in 2013 led to then-Prime Minister Petr Necas being forced to resign.
7. South Korea
Corruption was a big issue in South Korea in 2015, when a Prime Minister, Lee Wan-koo was forced to resign in April when his name appeared in a suicide note of a prominent businessman, accusing the minister among the others who received a bribe from him. South Korea scored 56 out of 100 on the corruption index.
Falling from 54 points in last year’s survey to 51 now, Hungary has become more corrupt — plagued by nepotism and a lack of transparency in government. The practice of giving doctors and surgeons a small bribe is widespread in the country, with one survey saying that 92% of Hungarians think it is an appropriate thing to do.
Also scoring 51 out of 100, Slovakia is one of the most corrupt countries in Europe. In recent years, the so-called Gorilla Scandal — where politicians, officials, and business executives were accused of taking and giving bribes to secure contracts — has been high on Slovakia’s political agenda.
Tax evasion is a problem in Greece. It has been described by Greek politicians as “a national sport”—with up to €30 billion per year going uncollected. But corruption in Greece has fallen since last year’s survey, with the country scoring 46 points compared to 43 last time. The practice of “fakelaki,” a colloquial term for bribes given to get better service, is also allegedly widespread in the country.
Political parties are ranked as the most corrupt institution in Italy, closely followed by public officials and Parliament. Corruption in the Eurozone’s third-biggest economy is often associated with former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who has been accused of corruption numerous times, was convicted of tax fraud in 2013, and was found guilty of bribing a senator in 2015. Italy scored 44 points in the Corruption Perceptions Index.
Turkey ranks as the most corrupt country within the developed countries of Europe, scoring 42 points out of 100. It is prevalent in politics, public procurement, and construction projects, where bribery is often demanded. In 2013, the country was rocked by a massive scandal involving the director of a state-owned bank, and many senior business people allegedly taking part in bribery, fraud, smuggling and money laundering.
Corruption has a long-standing role in Mexican history and culture. The country is by far the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s most corrupt country, scoring just 35 points. This is perhaps unsurprising given that Mexico is at the heart of the trade to bring drugs from Latin America into the US. Notorious drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has managed to escape prison twice, helped by giving huge bribes to prison officials.