Honesty is best policy as Ireland improves in corruption rankings
IRELAND has improved its ranking in a global index of perceived official corruption.
Transparency International said Ireland moved from joint 25th place with Austria last year to 21st place this year.
But it was bad news for Spain as the eurozone's fourth largest economy slumped 10 places to a rank of 40 in the Corruptions Perception Index for 2013.
Denmark and New Zealand tied for first place out of 177 countries – meaning they were perceived to have the lowest levels of state sector graft. Finland and Sweden were joint third and Norway was ranked fifth.
Germany came in 12th, one notch better than 2012, while Japan slipped one place to 18.
The 2013 index ranks countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. The index assigns scores of between one and 100, one being highly corrupt and 100 clean.
Greece remained the European Union state with the highest perceived level of corruption, although its four-point gain to 40 points helped it rise to 80th place from 94th in 2012.
The biggest improver on points was Myanmar, which emerged from 49 years of military rule in 2011. The Southeast Asian state gained six points, taking it to 157 from a previous 172.
Among the major global economies, the United States ranked 19 and China 80, both unchanged from last year.
Russia improved slightly to joint 127th place, from a previous 133, and Japan slid one spot to 18.