Brazil in steep slide on corruption index: Transparency International

BERLIN: Brazil, plagued by a scandal surrounding state oil giant Petrobas, registered the biggest plunge on the corruption index of watchdog Transparency International, which warned that emerging economies are struggling to shake off graft.

In its “Corruption Perceptions Index 2015” report, Transparency International said the Latin American country slumped seven notches to 76th position out of 168 countries over kickback allegations engulfing Petrobras.

On the other side of the globe, explosive graft claims surrounding Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak also laid bare corruption dogging the Asian state, it noted.

Overall, two-thirds of the countries measured by Transparency scored below the 50-point mark out of a top score of 100.

Nordic countries — Denmark, Finland and Sweden — topped the chart with their clean public sectors as in previous years, while strife-torn or repressive states — Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia — brought up the rear.

Emerging giants in particular showed a worrisome picture in the index used widely used as a gauge of the level of corruption by governments, legal systems, political parties and bureaucracies.

“All the BRICS are challenged, the countries that are the really up and coming in the world economy, they all score below 50 in our index,” Robin Hodess, TI group director for research, told AFP, referring to Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

South Africa was in 61st place with 44 points. Brazil and India were tied in 76th place with scores of just 38, while China fared slightly worse, in 83th place with 37 points. Russia only came in at 119th, managing just 29 points.

Hodess noted that the Petrobras case has had a “tremendous impact…in the real uncovering of the way that the political networks and businesses have been covering up decades of corruption in the country”.

APP/AFP

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