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Iceland: The Most Corrupt Nordic Country

Iceland: The Most Corrupt Nordic Country

Photos by
Art Bicnick

Published February 22, 2018

Corruption in Iceland has been on the rise for at least the past six years, according to a new report from Transparency International.

According to their Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), Iceland ranked 13th place out of a possible 188 for corruption, making it one of the least corrupt countries on a global scale. Regionally, however, Iceland is not only the most corrupt Nordic country – its level of corruption has been growing.

Transparency International’s Corruption Score measures the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). In 2012, Iceland’s score was 82, but it has steadily declined since then, and was in 2017 at 77.

The ranking is unsurprising given recent evaluations by the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO), and ongoing attacks on the media in Iceland.

As GRECO pointed out in 2015, a lack of transparency and conflict of interest is a pervasive problem in the Icelandic government. Further, Reporters Without Borders has expressed great concern with attacks against the media conducted by politicians in Iceland – most recently, an injunction leveled against two media outlets by the District Commissioner of Reykjavík on the behest of Glitnir HoldCo illustrates this point very clearly.

While on a global scale, Iceland remains a country with little corruption, it has been growing steadily more corrupt, and few practical steps seem to be taken to stem the tide.


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