Corruption May Tumble Bulgarian Govt Sofia_News_Agency - 2006/3/21
Corruption may topple the Bulgarian government by eroding thoroughly public confidence in it, US ambassador said in Sofia.
John r. Beyrle addressed a forum on anti-corruption organised Tuesday by the Center for the Study of Democracy (CED).
He pointed at the utmost need to change Bulgarian public opinion on this issue and only then expect perceivable results in the fight against corruption.
Non-governmental organisations, media and private business should be the flagmen of this combat, the US diplomat noted in an expose defending his country's non-interference into Bulgarian domestic affairs.
It is not only the US, but also the EU that demand for business climate in Bulgaria free of corruption, Beyrle said.
In 2005 the number of corruption cases among high-level administrators has increased, the eighth annual report of CED has found.
The report makes general evaluation of the state and dynamics of corruption in Bulgarian society and of the efforts to counteract and prevent corruption. The report for 2005 focuses on the spread of corruption in Bulgaria; the corruption in the business sector; and the role of government institutions in countering corruption.
Anti-corruption reforms in Bulgaria will gain a new impetus following the adoption of a new government strategy in this field in January 2006 and a new government body to oversee its implementation, Interior Minister Rumen Petkov reminded.
The strategy has come in to precede a crucial European Commission report to be issued in May on Bulgaria's readiness to accede to the EU in 2007 with corruption being one of the areas of closest scrutiny.