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Denmark, Finland, New Zealand least corrupt countries

London: Denmark, Finland and New Zealand tied for the first place in Transparency International’s 2012 index of the least corrupt countries.

India is on 94th position in the Corruption Perceptions Index. Transparency Inter-national ranks countries on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean). Lawless Somalia, North Korea and Afghanistan remain rooted to the foot of the table in the Corruption Perceptions Index.

Germany came in at 13th, one notch better than 2011 and Japan remained at 17. The United States ranked 19th in 2012, up from 24th out of 183 countries in 2011. China ranked 80th after 75th in 2011.

The 2012 index ranks 176 countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. Nations hardest hit by the Euro zone debt crisis are being held back by an inability to get to grips with corruption, anti-graft watchdog Transparency International (TI) said on December 5.

Publishing its annual Cor-ruption Perceptions Index, the Berlin-based body ranked Greece and Italy at places 94 and 72 respectively, out of 176 countries, and called for Europe to make tackling corruption a top priority in its battle against the crisis.

Perceived corruption in both countries appeared to have worsened. In last year’s index, debt-ravaged Greece was ranked 80th and Italy 69th.

“Underperformers in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2012 also include the Euro zone countries most affected by the financial and economic crisis,” TI noted.

It appealed to Europe’s policymakers to “address corruption risks in the public sector to tackle the financial crisis” and for “strengthened efforts to corruption-proof institutions.”

Least corrupt nations:

1. Denmark 90

1. Finland 90

1. New Zealand 90

4. Sweden 88

5. Singapore 87

6. Switzerland 86

7. Australia 85

7. Norway 85

9. Canada 84

9. Netherlands 84

11. Iceland 82

12. Luxembourg 80

13. Germany 79

14. Hong Kong 77

15. Barbados 76

94. India 36

160. Laos 21

160. Libya 21

163. Equatorial Guinea 20

163. Zimbabwe 20

165. Burundi 19

165. Chad 19

165. Haiti 19

165. Venezuela 19

169. Iraq 18

170. Turkmenistan 17

170. Uzbekistan 17

172. Myanmar 15

173. Sudan 13

Most corrupt nations:

174. Afghanistan 8

174. North Korea 8

174. Somalia 8