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France rated 22nd in corruption list

Anti-sleaze ranking improves but European watchdog warns that Hollande must guarantee independent judiciary

FRANCE has been rated just 22nd in a world ranking of the least corrupt countries – with the UK and Japan on joint 17th place.

The report, by Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International, called on France to make the war on corruption a “great national cause” in the same manner as it targeted autism in 2012 and solitude in 2011.

Transparency International said there was an “unprecedented crisis of confidence” in France and said it would watch with interest how President Hollande fulfilled his promise to “guarantee the independence of the judiciary”.

It said poor legal systems, poor public audit systems and overly-close links between government and business led to the feeling of widespread corruption in Europe.

However, France has improved its ranking since last year when it was rated 25th.

It is only ninth in the ranking of European countries which is led by Denmark, Finland and Sweden then the Netherlands. The UK is just ahead of France in eighth position.

Greece was the worst of the European countries – in 94th place - trailing even Bulgaria, which with Romania was refused entry to the open-border Schengen zone because of fears of corruption.

The Euro-zone crisis has taken its toll, with Italy in 72nd, ahead of Bulgaria at 75th but trailing Romania in 66th. Somalia is rated the world’s worst.

Transparency International said the results “should be a warning signal to the EU to require more information and accountability from member states”.

The European Commission said in 2011 that corruption cost Europe 1% of its gross domestic product – about €120billion.
Photo: © Bernad -

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