{"title": "Eaten by corruption","content": "
Administrative corruption in Bulgaria has decreased, political corruption though remains practically unpunished, the annual report of the Center for the Study of Democracy reveals. For the first time in the past 10 years Bulgarian citizens see corruption as a major problem for the country. The efforts of state institutions to curb corruption among politicians and senior state officials are seen as insufficient and inefficient, the report points out. In Bulgaria it is more likely to be injured in a car crash than be punished for bribery. To sanction someone over corruption is so unlikely that every bribe exceeding BGN 0.34 is beneficial to the bribe taker.FOCUS News Agency:AFP: Corruption is Bulgaria's biggest problem: reportBulgarians consider corruption to be their society's most serious problem, an independent democracy watchdog said in a report Monday, AFP reports.The Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD) said that instances of corruption fell from 150,000 in July 2006 to 115,000 in January 2007, when Bulgaria joined the European Union.But despite this positive development, 'grand political corruption involving members of the government, MPs, senior state officials remains a serious challenge', the report said.'There is a growing body of public opinion that political corruption is on the rise, almost institutionalized in the corrupt networks that came to be known as 'loops of companies'', chanelling state money towards certain businesses, the report said.'Bulgarians for the first time in a decade identify corruption as currently the gravest problem in society,' it added.Makfax: Between 20% and 25% of public procurement in Bulgaria paid in briberyBetween 20% and 25% of the public procurement funds in Bulgaria is paid in bribery, US Ambassador to Bulgaria John Beyrle announced in Bulgaria cited by Macedonian agency Makfax. He noted that the above fact repels foreign investors and makes Bulgarian citizens pay ‘corruption’ tax. Mr. Beyrle noted that corruption is especially high in the public procurement sector in healthcare, where some BGN 900 million is considered lost in the grey sector.Transparency and ethics in state institutions’ work are important for public: Minister VasilevI think the report on corruption assessment worked out by the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD) is professionally done and useful, Bulgarian Minister of State Administration and Administrative Reform Nikolay Vasilev told Focus Agency.He has added the ministry he is in charge of read the report but will later analyze it more seriously and in details. He expressed hope that important state institutions would study the report.“The report is critical as a whole. It points out some positive tendencies but it also focuses on faults. I accept the tendencies the way they are presented and analyzed in the report,” Minister Vasilev added.Commenting the data about decreased administrative corruption, the minister said he would keep on asserting his attitudes for the state’s minor role in the economy, for liberalizing many business sectors, cutting taxes as a way of combating gray economy, reducing administration so that its employees could receive higher salaries.Sofia mayor blames government and opposition for corruption“The ones who are really responsible for the corruption in Bulgaria are the leaders of all political parties in the government and the opposition”, Sofia mayor Boyko Borisov said during the 9th edition of the anti-corruption public-political forum, a journalist of FOCUS News Agency reported. Over the last ten years many troubles were done legally in Sofia.Chief Prosecutor: Corruption in judiciary is most hazardous“To me the most hazardous type of corruption is in the judiciary. We can’t counteract corruption in Bulgaria if we have no moral judiciary that performs its duties professionally”, Chief Prosecutor Boris Velchev announced at the ninth anti-corruption forum cited by a journalist of FOCUS News Agency. “The police and prosecution seem to be held responsible for all irregularities in the country. This is not the case. The way things are shown, including the way the media shows things boosts expectations for the work of the interior ministry and the prosecution and comforts the remaining supervising bodies”, he added.US Ambassador: Confidence in political parties decreases because their sources of financing are unclear“As EU citizens, Bulgarians are getting stricter to their government. Social intolerance to corruption is increasing because Bulgarians can see the results of corruption”, US ambassador to Bulgaria John Beyrle said at the opening of the 9th anti-corruption public and political forum, a journalist of FOCUS News Agency reported.“Corruption leads to a rise in prices of all public services. It drains money from the public funds for public services, such as healthcare and education”, Beyrle said. He added that since the society doesn’t know who exactly finances political parties, the confidence in them is decreasing constantly.