Corruption Becomes Tax for Business Pari - 2004/2/17
THE RELATIVELY large number of contracts marked by the burden of corruption practices in the Bulgarian economy shows that corruption is poised to become a kind of tax ensuring relative economic well-being and a price for staying in business. This is one of the conclusions in the 2003 annual report of Coalition 2000 at the Centre for the Study of Democracy. The survey shows that the level of corruption in Bulgaria neither increased, nor decreased last year.
The absolute number of corruption transactions carried out by citizens and companies is still disturbingly high. The average monthly number of corruption transactions is about 100,000. The indexes show that in the business sector about 4,000 deals involved corruption practices.
The existence of a sufficiently large incidence of corruption transactions prompts some civil servants to create situations in which the giving of bribes becomes 'necessary', in this way creating a market for their 'services', the analysis concludes. Thus, in time, the criteria for making decisions in different departments of the administration tend to become distorted.
The use of corruption transactions in the business sector significantly distorts the market and competitive environment. The working definition of corruption is the abuse of power or official position for personal gains. Corruption transactions distort the regulative functions of the state. The survey shows that the state regulations are skirted by about 10 to 20% of the companies, not taking into account the companies in the grey economy, which considerably increase the figure.
Between 30 and 40% of the public awards were contracted through corruption mechanisms. The problem is that huge amounts are distributed in such a say, Vitosha Research director Alexander Stoyanov said. More than EUR 4 billion will be allocated after 2007, he warned.

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