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Anti-corruption index ranks Switzerland and other nations

A newly released report by Transparency International, a private group that compiles an annual “Corruption Perception Index,” gives relatively good marks to Switzerland, but notes that it is seen as not completely free of corruption.

This content was published on October 26, 1999 - 16:46

A newly released report by Transparency International, a private group that compiles an annual “Corruption Perception Index,” gives relatively good marks to Switzerland, but notes that it is seen as not completely free of corruption.

Transparency International, which describes itself as a non-governmental organisation dedicated to increasing government accountability, ranks Switzerland at No. 9 in a Corruption Perceptions Index that includes 99 countries.
Switzerland got 8.9 out of a maximum 10 points. Ten points mean the country is seen as totally free of corruption.

The corruption league table shows Denmark as the No.1 with a clean 10 ranking, followed by Finland, New Zealand, Sweden, Canada, Iceland, Singapore and the Netherlands. Germany is at No.14 and the United States at No. 18.

A new survey by the non-governmental organisation for the first time also ranked the world’s 19 leading exporting nations to find out whose companies were the most likely to pay bribes abroad. Almost 800 senior business executives in 14 emerging market countries were asked their views on the subject.

Switzerland gets 7.7 of a maximum 10 points in this category, which puts it in fifth position.

This leaves Switzerland behind Sweden, Australia, Canada and Austria but ahead of the Netherlands, Britain, Belgium, Germany and the United States.

The chairman of Transparency Switzerland, former diplomat Philippe Lévy, urged Switzerland to approve an international anti-corruption convention that bans the payment of bribes. The Swiss parliament is now in the process of ratifying the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development document.

Under existing Swiss law, bribes paid abroad are tax-deductible.

Lévy said the relatively bad ranking for Switzerland was based on its image as a financial transaction market. The country was still being associated with money laundering, even though tough anti-money laundering legislation had long since been put in place.

He said part of the negative image was also due to the fact that quite a number of investment companies were headquartered in Switzerland.

From staff and wire reports.

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