Survey: Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal seen as among most corrupt in European Union

BERLIN – An international watchdog group says a new survey shows the countries worst hit by the European financial crisis are also seen as among the most corrupt in the European Union.

Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index released Wednesday shows Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece with the lowest scores in western Europe.

Where 0 is “highly corrupt” and 100 is “very clean,” Greece scored a 36, Italy 42, Portugal 63 and Spain, 65.

By comparison, Denmark and Finland tied with New Zealand at the top of the list with scores of 90, while Germany scored 79, the U.K. 74 and the U.S. 73.

Overall, the countries seen as most corrupt were Somalia, North Korea and Afghanistan — all of which scored eight.

Two-thirds of the 176 countries ranked scored below 50.