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FACTDROP: Greece 'is European Union's most corrupt nation'


Greece 'is European Union's most corrupt nation'

Πηγή: LES
By Russell Lynch
Dec 5 2012

Germany did little to improve the already frosty relations with bailed-out Greece today as a Berlin-based think tank labelled it the most corrupt country in the European Union.

Transparency International — which ranks perceptions of corruption among 176 nations — put Greece in 94th place, making it the worst of all 27 EU members.

The organisation assesses how many backhanders the public believe are involved in areas such as public tenders, political party financing and tax evasion, as well as cosy ties between government and business.

Greece — heading for its sixth year of recession — is blighted by a huge black economy and endemic tax evasion by the rich. The country’s tax revenues are among the lowest in the EU at 33.2% of GDP last year, compared with the EU average of almost 40%.

The nation was also embroiled in a recent tax scandal after a journalist published a list of 2000 wealthy Greeks who allegedly evaded tax in Swiss bank accounts. The so-called “Lagarde list” — handed to then French finance minister Christine Lagarde in 2010 — was passed onto the Greek finance ministry, who then “mislaid” it and failed to act on the information. Greece was ranked even lower than poorer, newer democracies such as Bulgaria and Romania. Denmark is seen as the least corrupt country and Somalia the most. The UK is ranked 17th.

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