Correspondent in Berlin
In the latest International Transparency exam on corruption, published today in Berlin, Spain obtained a score of 61 points out of a total of 100, which means a setback compared to previous notes. Spain is now ranked 34th in the list of 180 countries examined, when in the previous edition of the study it was ranked 32nd, with 62 points. This means that international observers perceive us cas a little more corrupt, although we are located better than countries like Italy, Poland or Israel, but worse than Lithuania, Portugal, South Korea or Qatar.
The country with the least corruption in the world, according to the Transparency International report, is Denmark, with 88 points, Followed by Finland and New Zealand, and in this the document coincides with the analysis on civil liberties regularly published by the Democracy Index.
The red lanterns on the list are Venezuela with 14 points, Somalia and Syria with 13 and South Sudan with 11. In Venezuela, the organization indicates, “the government of President Nicolás Maduro has silenced dissent among his political rivals, journalists and even health workers.” “Over the past decade, the country has seen a considerable drop in the index, with its lowest rating to date coming in 2021.”
It is, in short, a practically traced list of those resulting from previous editions and that is precisely the President’s main concern of Transparency International Germany, Hartmut Bäumer. “These data are not exactly to be happy about”, he said during the presentation, “because they show that, unfortunately, we are making little progress in the fight against corruption”.
Progress, in fact, is “little or none” in 86% of the countries studied. In the last decade, 154 countries have suffered a deterioration or have not advanced in their fight against corruption and among them are some powers such as Australia, Canada or the United States. The smallest are the ones that stand out for their progress, such as Estonia, Seychelles o Armenia.
Bäumer points out that progress is being made in advanced democracies, for example, with the introduction of lobbying registries and tightening of the rules on the secondary activities of parliamentarians, while “massive deficits” remain with the absence of penal regulation of companies and the inadequate whistleblower protection, in addition to the wide validity of the official secret in the administration.
The series also shows that the states that curtail constitutional and democratic institutions or violate human rights are the same ones that increasingly suffer from corruption, as seen in the cases of Hungary and Turkey. Since 2012, 25 countries have improved their scores, but 25 have decreased. The upward trend, although surely at rates slower than desirable, is perceived to be generally associated with constitutional and democratic countries, pioneers in the fight against corruption.
USA, “the problem child”
Although this rule is significant exceptions should be noted. Transparency International describes the United States as a “problem child.” For the first time in a decade, the country loses its place among the top 25 countries from the table, which the organization describes as a side effect of the Trump administration.
The report congratulates Biden, for identifying corruption as a central problem for national security and warns that “complacency in the fight against corruption gives rise to more serious human rights violations and undermines democracy, thus triggering a vicious spiral », because «as rights and freedoms are eroded, democracy is weakened, authoritarianism advances and in turn contributes to fueling corruption». “This is not a coincidence,” the report insists.
Transparency International’s report is based on the perceptions of business representatives and country experts on corruption in politics and administration, which the organization compiles from 13 sources of independent institutions, such as the World Bank. It includes, among other things, observations of criminal offenses such as bribery and corruption, experiences of a lack of state measures to combat corruption, or the perception that the state is being run by interest groups. On the other hand, the experiences of corruption of citizens, tax fraud, illegal financial flows or money laundering are not taken into account.