Government Holds Leading Place for Corruption Capital_Weekly - 1999/10/30
Bulgaria is 63rd in the world for corruption in institutions, the survey of the international organisation Transparency International revealed. The results of the survey were announced by the organisation's Bulgarian representation last Tuesday. The corruption index, which is a large-scale sociological survey, conducted by eight independent organisations, places Bulgaria at the same position as Ghana, Egypt, Macedonia and Romania. Bulgaria is preceded by such countries as Zimbabwe, Morocco, the Philippines, Zambia etc. Bulgaria's corruption index is 3.3, which places it in the second half of the chart, which includes a total of 99 countries. Denmark is rated the most corruption-free country with and index of 10, followed by Finland and Sweden with an index of 9.8. Lawyer Dimitar Kyumyurdzhiev thinks that there is no difference in the rating of Bulgaria as compared to last year, when Bulgaria was rated 67th. Transparency International is the most authoritative world organisation which follows the spread of corruption, and the surveys of which are used by investors, businessmen and risk analysts. A day after Transparency International announced Bulgaria's standing, Bulgaria's corruption tendencies followed by the monitoring system of Coalition 2000 and the Vitosha Research agency, were announced. The survey was conducted between September 11 and 25 this year. For the first time in two years, the government is included among the first three for the spread of corruption in state institutions. It is preceded by the traditional leaders in bribe acceptance - the customs and the judicial system. The professions that come first are customs officials, tax inspectors and policemen. Despite the fact that the data from the survey were ready before the local elections, they were not released, so that they would not influence the voting, representatives of the coalition explained. The 1,110 questioned Bulgarians over 18 years of age think that corruption is wide spread in the presidency. The survey of Coalition 2000 revealed another fact as well - corruption is one of the three major problem of Bulgarian society. It is preceded only by unemployment and low incomes. Poverty and crime are behind it. Sociologists explained these shifts with the wide spread debate and the drawing attention to corruption by the media and in society. At the same time, the general acceptance of receiving bribes decreased by one point as compared to the survey, conducted in February 1999. The director of Vitosha Research, Alexander Stoyanov, said that the strong tendency for a decrease in tolerance of corruption practices is present.

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