Sore Eyes

BERLIN, Nov 6, 2006 (AFP) – Haiti, Myanmar and Iraq are perceived as the most corrupt countries in the world while Finland is seen as the cleanest, a respected global graft watchdog reported Monday. Transparency International (TI) said in its annual Corruption Perceptions Index covering 163 countries that some of the world’s poorest nations were also the most sleaze-ridden, undermining international development efforts.

“Corruption traps millions in poverty,” the chairwoman of the Berlin-based non-governmental organization, Huguette Labelle, said in a statement.

“Despite a decade of progress in establishing anti-corruption laws and regulations, today’s results indicate that much remains to be done before we see meaningful improvements in the lives of the world’s poorest citizens.”

On the 2005 list, the worst levels in perceived corruption were in Chad, Bangladesh and Turkmenistan.

The index score relates to perceptions of the degree of corruption as seen by business people and country analysts, and ranges between zero, for highly corrupt, and 10, which is very clean.

TI said that corruption was shockingly rampant worldwide with almost three-quarters of the countries in the report