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Rome: Italy remains one of the most corrupt countries in Europe and is now ranked equally with Senegal, Montenegro, Lesotho and South Africa, according to an annual global report released on Wednesday.
Italy climbed eight places in the rankings to take 61st place out of the 174 countries included in the report, lagging far behind northern European countries, according to the ranking by Transparency International's Annual 2015 Corruptions Perceptions Index.
Scandinavia dominated the top spots, with Denmark considered the least corrupt country on the Earth, followed by Finland and Sweden.
Norway, Britain and Germany were also among the 10 countries perceived as least corrupt.
Southern European countries like Spain and Greece also out-performed Italy. Spain was ranked 36 in the list, while Greece, led by leftwing premier Alexis Tsipras, overtook Italy to share 58th place with Romania.
Despite apparent progress, graft remains a major scourge in Italy that costs it a massive 60 billion euros or four percent of gross domestic product each year, according to Italy's Court of Auditors. (IANS)