Spain gets passing grade in public sector corruption index

Report places Spain 37th out of 175 countries, three positions higher than last year

Spain gets a passing grade in the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index, which is put together by Transparency International.

The non-profit group, which released its annual report on Wednesday, assigned Spain 60 points out of 100, one point more than last year and five points less than in 2012.

This places Spain in 37th place out of 175 countries, three positions higher than last year.

The best grades went to Denmark, New Zealand and Finland, while the worst were awarded to Somalia, North Korea and Sudan.

The Corruption Perceptions Index is based on expert opinions of public sector corruption, notes the group. It does not measure political party corruption.

Compared with other EU member states, Spain scored somewhere in the middle, with the highest grades for Scandinavian countries and the lowest for Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Romania.

Jesús Lizcano, president of Transparency International Spain, says this year marks “the consolidation” of Spain’s drop in the listings because it has not yet overcome the loss of five points from 2012.

In any case, corruption in the public sector “is not systemic” in Spain, says Lizcano. Instead, “it focuses on politics, with the connivance of certain companies.”

Transparency International has already urged political parties to adopt “a much firmer attitude” toward corruption and to take “immediate” measures to “alleviate the evident level of citizen indignation.”

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