Watchdog group: Corruption worsens under populist leaders

Watchdog group: Corruption worsens under populist leaders

FILE - In this Thursday, May 12, 2016 file photo, Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, from left, Jose Ugaz, Transparency International, Daria Kaleniuk and Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg take part in a panel discussion at the Anti-Corruption Summit in London. Watchdog group Transparency International on Wednesday is warning that people who turn to populist politicians who promise to change systems and end corruption may only be feeding the problem. (AP photo)
FILE - In this Thursday, May 12, 2016 file photo, Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, from left, Jose Ugaz, Transparency International, Daria Kaleniuk and Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg take part in a panel discussion at the Anti-Corruption Summit in London. Watchdog group Transparency International on Wednesday is warning that people who turn to populist politicians who promise to change systems and end corruption may only be feeding the problem. (AP photo)

BERLIN -- An anti-corruption watchdog group is warning that people who turn to populist politicians promising to upset the status quo and end corruption may only be feeding the problem.

Transparency International released its Corruption Perceptions Index for 2016 on Wednesday. The report says that populist or autocratic leaders usually install more corrupt systems in the countries they pledged to reform.

The group's chairman, Jose Ugaz, cited Hungary and Turkey as examples. He says their scores have worsened in recent years while Argentina's have improved since a populist government was ousted.

Based on expert opinions of public sector corruption, the annual report ranked Denmark and New Zealand as the least-corrupt countries, followed by Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and Norway. Somalia was ranked most corrupt, followed by South Sudan, North Korea, and Syria.


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