An EU-commissioned report has named Bulgaria, Romania and Poland as the three countries with the highest levels of organized crime and corruption in the European Union.Rather worrying wouldn't you think,
The report, conducted by a Bulgarian-based NGO, the Centre for Study of Democracy, presented its findings on Tuesday in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia.
The police, judiciary and local authorities remain highly vulnerable to corruption and organized crime in Bulgaria, the report noted.So would seem the ideal place to send over 50 million Eros of our taxes to fight climate change?
"Just in the traffic police alone there are around 100,000 cases of bribes a month," said Tihomir Bezlov, from the NGO, said.
Philip Gunev, from the same NGO, told Balkan Insight that many criminals in Bulgaria were former policemen, customs officers or investigators, men with the right connections to corrupt and influence the system.
Organized criminals are spreading their influence into political parties, concludes the report.
Gunev warned that the culture of impunity among the judiciary in Bulgaria was worrying. "Despite widespread allegations about corruption in the system, not a single judge has been convicted for corruption,” he said.
Grants for energy efficiency projects in 58 Bulgarian municipalities under EU programs have been approved on Monday, Sofia News Agency wrote. Thus, a total of BGN 105 M will be apportioned to improve the energy efficiency of 215 schools and kindergartens with a total of 85 000 students. On Monday, Lilyana Pavlova, Deputy Regional Development Minister signed the contracts for the funds with the municipal mayors.I would give pretty good odds that much of this money won't quite make it to the kiddies.
The funding is provided under two mechanisms of EU's Regional Development Operational Program. The first is for larger cities and includes projects of the Sofia Municipality, Pleven, and Ruse, while the second one is for energy efficiency in smaller towns. As a result of the investments, the 58 municipalities should be saving 2 million MW/h of electricity annually.