Iceland Most Corrupt Nordic Country, Again - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Iceland Most Corrupt Nordic Country, Again

Published January 27, 2016

Photos by
Art Bicnick

Iceland has once again come out ahead of all other Nordic countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.

According to the data, which covers 168 countries and ranks them from 1 to 168 on a scale of least to most corrupt, Iceland has gone from its previously held spot of 12 to 13. This makes the country more corrupt than all other Nordic countries, who ranked amongst the least corrupt in the world: Denmark (1), Finland (2), Sweden (3) and Norway (5).

The distinction of Most Corrupt Nordic Country was one Iceland also held last year.

Transparency International makes it a point to emphasise, though, that “just because a country has a clean public sector at home, doesn’t mean it isn’t linked to corruption elsewhere,” citing for example that “the Swedish-Finnish firm TeliaSonera – 37 per cent owned by the Swedish state – is facing allegations that it paid millions of dollars in bribes to secure business in Uzbekistan, which comes in at 153rd in the index.”

In 2013, a more detailed picture of Iceland’s version of corruption was shown. At that time, 3% of Icelanders reported paying a bribe in 2010. 78% said they did not feel as though their government was effective at fighting corruption, and 53% said they believe corruption in Iceland has increased from 2007 to 2010.

When it comes to institutions within Iceland, those polled felt that the most corrupt of them were the political parties. This was followed by the business and private sector, the institution of parliament itself, and – tied for fourth place – were public servants and the media.

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