NEWS

Corruption watchdog ‘tainted’

The ruling Socialists yesterday dismissed as politically motivated Tuesday’s report by an international watchdog organization that listed Greece as the most corrupt country in the European Union. The Transparency International report ranked Greece in joint 50th place, together with South Korea and Costa Rica, among 133 countries surveyed. It also found that five of the new EU members set to join in May – Cyprus, Estonia, Lithuania, Slovenia and Hungary – were less corrupt than Greece. «I have the impression that, through the vague and truly odd way that Transparency International’s representatives in Greece handle their data, they are effectively trying to serve New Democracy’s political aims,» government spokesman Christos Protopappas said. The head of the watchdog’s Greek office is Virginia Tsouderou, a former ND MP who served as deputy foreign minister in the early 1990s. «Efforts have been made to fight corruption and institutions have been set up that are similar to if not better than European (institutions),» Protopappas said