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CORRUPTION

Spain is still one of Europe’s most corrupt countries

Spain has finished in 41st place in an annual ranking comparing the levels of corruption around the world.

Spain is still one of Europe's most corrupt countries
Princess Cristina and her husband Inaki Urdangarin leave the courtroom in Palma de Mallorca in February 2016 following a hearing in a landmark corruption trial. Photo: AFP
Spain shared 41st place with Brunei and Costa Rica in this year’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI), released by anti-corruption campaign group Transparency International on Wednesday. 
 
The three countries were given a score of 58 on the 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean) scale.
 
Denmark and New Zealand both scored 90 to top the list, followed closely by Finland and Sweden, which scored 89 and 88 respectively.
 
 
 

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Spain scored 65 in 2012 but has dipped to between 58 and 60 in subsequent years. 
 
Spain's King Felipe VI spoke two months ago of corruption as “a scourge that we have to defeat”. His own sister, Princess Cristina, is awaiting a verdict in one of Spain's many breathtaking corruption scandals
 
As a whole, Transparency International said that no nation in the world is doing enough to fight corruption. 
 
“There are no drastic changes in Europe and Central Asia in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2016, with only a few exceptions. However, this does not mean that the region is immune from corruption. The stagnation does not indicate that the fight against corruption has improved, but quite the opposite,” Transparency International wrote. 
 
“Last year in Denmark, the top country on the index, 20 members of the Danish Parliament (11 percent of 179 members) did not declare their outside activities or financial interests in their asset declarations,” the group continued, adding that it is “highly alarming” that even the best-performing countries in the EU aren’t immune to corruption scandals. 
 
Despite the small score setback, Development Minister Ulla Tørnæs said that Danes should be proud of living in a country that once again has been declared the least corrupt in the world. 
 
For the tenth year in a row, Somalia was at the very bottom of the 176 CPI, with a score of 10. The full ranking can be seen here: 
 

CORRUPTION

Barçagate: Police raid FC Barcelona offices and arrest former president

Police raided the offices of FC Barcelona on Monday, carrying out several arrests just six days ahead of the club's presidential elections, a Catalan regional police spokesman told AFP.

Barçagate: Police raid FC Barcelona offices and arrest former president
Barcelona's former president Josep Maria Bartomeu is among the arrested. Photo: Josep Lago/AFP

Spain's Cadena Ser radio said one of those arrested was former club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who resigned in October, along with CEO Oscar Grau and the club's head of legal services.

But the police refused to confirm names, saying only “arrests are taking place” and adding that the operation was being run by officers from the financial crimes unit.

“We are in the process of carrying out an operation right now with agents of the financial crimes unit,” the police spokesman told AFP.

According to reports in the Spanish media, the operation is linked to last year's investigation into the 'BarçaGate' scandal, which saw the club deny hiring a company to criticise current and former players on social media to improve the image of the then-president Bartomeu.

Cadena Ser said Barca paid €1 million in six separate invoices to the company I3 Ventures, with whom the club have since cut ties.

Bartomeu resigned in October, after mounting pressure following months of controversy and a dramatic decline in performances on the pitch.

His successor is due to be elected on Sunday, when club members will choose between the final three candidates, Joan Laporta, Toni Freixa and Victor Font.

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