By Stelios Orphanides
Transparency International, the global anti-corruption watchdog, promoted Cyprus to rank 42 in its 2017 Corruption Perception Index from 45 the year before as the island improved its score from 55 to 57.
Cyprus was placed on the same rank with the Czech Republic, Dominica and Spain, just below Latvia and the Caribbean island-state of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, beating Georgia and Malta, the Berlin-based non-governmental organisation said in a statement on its website on Wednesday.
Last year, Transparency International disaccredited its Cypriot division revealing a rift in how the two NGOs understood corruption. Leaders of Transparency International Cyprus said that money laundering was not corruption.
New Zealand topped the list -which included 183 jurisdictions- scoring 89 points, ahead of Denmark which scored 88 points and Finland, Norway and Switzerland which scored 85 points, Transparency said. Somalia was perceived as the most corrupt state worldwide with just 9 points, while South Sudan and Syria were ranked 182nd and 181st with 12 and 14 points respectively.
Sweden, was the third most transparent European Union member and ranked tenth worldwide with 84 points followed by Luxembourg and the Netherlands, the other two EU most transparent EU-member states, ranked eighth worldwide, Transparency said.
Bulgaria was the EU’s least transparent member state, ranked 71st worldwide, while Hungary was the second most corrupt member of the EU, ranked 66th worldwide, the organisation said. Romania and Greece were ranked 59th together with Jordan and were the third least transparent member states in the EU.