Orban’s Hungary Seen Most Corrupt in EU, Overtaking Bulgaria

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(Bloomberg) -- Hungary has replaced Bulgaria as the European Union member state perceived to be the most corrupt, according to Transparency International.

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Hungary dropped four places to 77th in the watchdog’s global Corruption Perceptions Index, which was published on Tuesday. The nation led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban is five places below fellow EU member Bulgaria and tied with Burkina Faso, among others, in the 180-nation rankings.

The EU has been citing corruption and the rule of law among reasons for withholding $30 billion in aid from Hungary. The government, which last year set up an independent anti-graft authority to address the issues, dismissed the Transparency report as politically biased.

Hungary has plunged 24 places in the corruption index since Orban returned to power in 2010. The watchdog says the country is now in the “state capture” phase where authorities are generating graft instead of stopping it.

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