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Greece seen as most corrupt European nation, survey says

Transparency International ranks Greece, along with other European countries racked by the financial crisis, poorly in its 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index.

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The survey, which was first conducted in 1995, draws on a variety of sources that capture perceptions of corruption, including World Bank and World Economic Forum assessments, the African Development Bank's governance ratings, and Transparency International's own Bribe Payers Survey.

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Afghanistan, North Korea, and Somalia were ranked the worst overall on this year's list, all tied with a rating of just eight. Denmark, Finland, and New Zealand were thought of as least corrupt with scores of 90.

Canada scored 84, Germany 79, and Japan and Britain tied at 74. The United States was rated 73, giving it 19th place, and France scored 71.

Other European Union countries also fared poorly, with Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Latvia, and the Czech Republic all scoring less than 50.

The Greek numbers, which put it in 94th place on the ranking — 14 places below last year — stand out in particular, Ms. Koch said.

"Greece, of course, at place 94, is the lowest state in the European Union," she said. "It's ranked lower than countries like Colombia, Benin, and Zambia ... which gives you pause for thought."

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