1 Billion Euros Paid In Bribes In Bulgaria in 2006

While Bulgaria has just started the campaign for the European Parliamentary Elections which are to be held May 20, the new EU member country was again criticized for corruption, reported the on-line edition of the French Monde, quoted by BTA.

In a report published April 23 the Center for the Study of Democracy criticizes the increasing corruption in political circles in Bulgaria in spite of the active campaign against it led since February 2006, the newspaper states.

Monde also reminds that after its EU accession on 1 January the country continues to be monitored especially in terms of corruption.

In the end of March a mission of Bulgarian observers presented their report in Brussels, which was followed by an inspection in Bulgaria in the middle of April carried out by European representatives with the aim of evaluating the country’s progress so that the European Commission would be able to give its recommendations in June.

However the mechanism established since January 1 is not sufficient to stop some worries, Monde points out.

Thus Great Britain, France, Sweden, Finland and The Netherlands have asked for a stricter approach for Bulgaria and Romania. This information published by Bulgarian media has been confirmed by the French Foreign Ministry, Monde also states.

In the beginning of April the five countries mentioned above pointed out the importance of the report which the European Commission is to release in June and insisted on the necessity for transparency in its content. Bulgaria may have to face sanctions in case the country does not carry out the engagements it has undertaken to, the newspaper concludes. 

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