GRADUAL DECREASE IN BULGARIA'S CORRUPTION LEVEL OBSERVED Sofia_echo - 2006/3/20
The main corruption tendency observed between 1998 and 2004 shows a gradual decrease in real corruption, as well as potential corruption or the number of cases in which civil servants requested a bribe.

Pressure that civil society and the business sector exerted led to the development, BGNES news agency reported.

These conclusions figure in the seventh annual report of the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD) about anti-corruption reforms in Bulgaria shortly before the country joins the EU.

In 2004 corruption deals reached the lowest registered level. The number of such transactions reached 80 000 a month. A negative development occurred in 2005 as the cases of corruption pressure exercised by civil servants rose.

Experts said it is still early to determine whether the negative tendency is a long-term development or was simply caused by the 2005 parliamentary elections.

Despite the increase, the overall corruption level between 1998 and 2005 decreased nearly two times. The average number of corruption deals in 2005 varies between 120 000 and 130 000.

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