Corruption in Spain: on the decline

According to a report published today by Transparency International based on the results of the latest corruption surveys carried out by this organisation, Spain is the 22nd least corrupt nation in the World.

In 1995 at the height of the corruption scandals in Spain which eventually brought down the then Socialist government, Spain scored an embarrassing 4.35 out of 10. This year it has been awarded a 7.1 which is a great improvement.

Out of the 146 countries surveyed in the study, Spain is the one which has most improved its position during the last few years. Experts consulted by Cadena Ser put this improvement down to the following factors:

  • to the defeat of the Socialists in 1996, when the electorate punished them for the corruption cases which had come to light,
  • to the creation and work of the Anticorruption Fiscal,
  • to the work of the Spanish media who have been quick to pounce on any potential corruption scandals on all sides of the political spectrum and have made it more difficult for corrupt politicians to carry out sleazy acts.

Spain ties with France in 22nd place. Finland is the world’s least corrupt state according to the results of the survey, followed by New Zealand, Denmark, Island, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Australia y The Netherlands. The United Kingdom comes 11th overall, Germany 15th and the USA 17th.

Here is a quote from the press release published on the Transparency International website today:

Corruption in large-scale public projects is a daunting obstacle to sustainable development, and results in a major loss of public funds needed for education, healthcare and poverty alleviation, both in developed and developing countries,” said Transparency International (TI) Chairman Peter Eigen today at the launch of the TI Corruption Perceptions Index 2004.

“If we hope to reach the Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people living in extreme poverty by 2015, governments need to seriously tackle corruption in public contracting,” said Eigen. TI estimates that the amount lost due to bribery in government procurement is at least US$ 400 billion per year worldwide.A total of 106 out of 146 countries score less than 5 against a clean score of 10, according to the new index, published today by Transparency International, the leading non-governmental organisation fighting corruption worldwide. Sixty countries score less than 3 out of 10, indicating rampant corruption. Corruption is perceived to be most acute in Bangladesh, Haiti, Nigeria, Chad, Myanmar, Azerbaijan and Paraguay, all of which have a score of less than 2.

See the rest of the release and the table of results here.