Albania, Romania Lead Balkan Corruption Reuters - 2001/3/26
Corruption is widespread in seven Balkan states with Albania and Romania most affected by graft, two independent think-tanks said on Thursday.
The joint survey of public opinion by the International Development Law Institute in Rome and Bulgaria's Center for Study of Democracy (CSD), covered Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania and Yugoslavia.
More than 7,500 interviews formed the basis of the report.
"Corruption poses the biggest problem in Albania and Romania where respectively 60.8 percent and 59.9 percent of those polled say it was their country's main problem," Alexander Stoyanov, CSD deputy director, told a news conference.
The survey used an index measuring people's assessment of the extent of corruption. It was highest in Romania with 7.3 and Albania at 6.8, followed by Serbia's 6.6, Bulgaria's 6.5, Bosnia and Herzegovina at 6.2, and Macedonia, Croatia and Montenegro all set at 5.8.
The main factors were the desire for fast personal enrichment by those in power, low salaries, inadequate legislation and lack of administrative controls.
In Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovia, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Serbia customs departments were seen as the most corrupt institutions while in Croatia and Romania people believed corruption was most widely spread in their privatization agencies.
In most states, customs officers, government ministers, police and taxmen led professions most susceptible to graft. In Albania people said corruption was most widespread among doctors.