In a surprising report published recently by Transparency International, Germany ranked among the very last of the world’s most corrupt countries. Of the 163 countries investigated, Germany fell far behind the bottom of the barrel and only managed to land a shameful16th place.

This ranking places it well behind such perennial powerhouses as Nigeria, Russia and Romania and even behind the United States of America, which although always a contender to be reckoned with, only managed to reach a disappointing 20th place itself this year. I mean, what is that? This year’s winner at place 163 was Haiti, but they always win anyway. Iraq was a very close second at 162.

German experts scrambled to explain their dismal performance by reminding the public that Gerhard Schröder’s government has been out of office for almost an entire year now and that the grand coalition’s “hands are tied” and it just can’t be as corrupt as it would like to be.

“This is simply unacceptable,” a leading opposition politician lamented. “When in this day and age of globalization a country with the corruptive potential of the Federal Republic of Germany cannot even make it among the top third of the world’s most corrupt nations, than the time for cosmetic reform is over. We have to stop talking about systemic reform altogether.”

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