MORE CORRUPTION CASES AMONG HIGH OFFICIALS IN BULGARIA Sofia_echo - 2006/3/21
In 2005 the number of corruption cases among high-level administrators has increased, a research of the Centre for the Study of Democracy shows.
Reuters news agency reported that in 2005 political parties diverted between 320 and 370 million leva from the national budget through deals with different companies that offered bribes.
This network of parties and companies enables organised crime influence over state affairs. The development leads to money laundering and control over central economic sectors, Reuters reported.
US ambassador to Bulgaria John Beyrle said the main difference would come after the public opinion concerning corruption practices changes.
The report concludes all 'soft measures' against corruption activity have proved powerless to break the already formed cycle, Focus news agency reported.
Bulgarian officials said they are ready to take a harsher policy line to fight corruption. The immunity of any politician suspected of corruption will be taken away and investigation will be launched, Prosecutor-General Boris Velchev said.
Interior Minister Roumen Petkov said last year 65 Interior Ministry administrators were dismissed on corruption charges.