Malta has risen to 37th place in the Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International, gaining one point from the 2014 survey.

Denmark leads the list of 168 countries. Somalia is last.

In the previous survey, in 2014, Malta had ranked 43rd out of 175 countries.

Scant details about Malta are given in the report where countries and territories’score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

Malta has 56 points and his behind most EU countries except Italy, Hungary, Croatia, Latvia, Greece, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Romania. 

Brazil suffered the sharpest deterioration in public perceptions of corruption. It tumbled to 76th place, down seven positions from 2014. Latin America's largest economy was rocked by a massive corruption scandal at state-run companies, including oil giant Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras), which involved allegations against top government officials.

Other decliners last year included Libya, Australia, Spain and Turkey. Turkey, which saw one of the sharpest declines as a major corruption scandal buffeted the ruling Islamist-rooted AK Party, fell a further three points.

Two thirds of the 168 countries assessed scored below the 50 mark in TI's scale where 100 stands for the most clean and 0 for the most corrupt, indicating that corruption continues to take a heavy toll on the global economy and governance.

On a brighter note, however, the survey showed general perceptions of corruption around the world had declined in 2015.

Among countries which saw an improved ranking were Greece, Senegal and Britain. 

TI attributed the overall global improvement to the work of citizen activists fighting corruption in places such as Guatemala, Sri Lanka and Ghana - all countries which were able to improve their ratings in 2015.

"Corruption can be beaten if we work together," said TI chairman Jose Ugaz in a statement. "To stamp out the abuse of power, bribery and shed light on secret deals, citizens must together tell their governments they have had enough."


Malta, meanwhile scored 96 out of a possible 100 in the World Freedom Report issued last night by Washington-based Freedom House, scoring top points for poitical rights and civil liberties.


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