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Who’s the most corrupt?

When it comes to corruption, some things never change. While Nigeria is consistently seen as one of the most corrupt countries, Finland, Denmark and New Zealand are viewed as perennially clean.

Every year since 1995, Transparency International has published its Corruption Perceptions Index, which ranks countries on a scale of 0 (most corrupt) to 10 (least corrupt).

Nigeria always comes in either last or second-to-last and every year Finland, Denmark and New Zealand fill three of the top four spots.

This year, the star of the show is Slovenia. It scored 6, up from 5.2 in 2001, overtaking Italy in the process. Slovenia is the highest-ranking transition economy in Europe, followed by Estonia, on 5.6. Both are well above the lowest-ranking EU member, Greece, with just 4.2.

Johann Graf Lambsdorff, a professor at Göttingen University in Germany who directs the study, says that the ability of Slovenia and Estonia to manage the transition to capitalism without widespread corruption bodes well. "I think they could be the next countries to join the European Union," he says.

Conversely, the Czech Republic, a rising star in 1996 has plunged this year.

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