Bulgaria Grapples with Soaring Corruption Rates: New Report Reveals Shocking Data

Photo: Stella Ivanova

Corruption in Bulgaria has soared to its third highest peak in history, according to a recent report by the Center for the Study of Democracy. The findings indicate a significant failure in anti-corruption efforts by governmental institutions.

The report reveals alarming statistics, with over 30% of citizens and 25% of businesses admitting involvement in corrupt activities. Additionally, 35% of respondents reported facing pressure to engage in corruption. These figures closely mirror previous peaks in corruption levels observed in 2014 and as far back as 1999.

Of particular concern is the willingness of individuals to offer or accept bribes, with a notable increase observed in recent years. Despite widespread corruption, only 227 individuals were convicted and sanctioned by judicial authorities in 2022, highlighting a stark disparity between the prevalence of corruption and judicial action.

Yordanka Chobanova, head of the EC representation in Bulgaria, emphasized that corruption is not merely a perception but a tangible issue affecting Bulgarian society. Public expectations for effective anti-corruption measures are high, with 81% of citizens acknowledging the widespread nature of corruption in the country.

Dr. Todor Galev, Director of Scientific Activities at CSD, underscored the normalization of corruption within the business community, where preemptive compliance with corrupt demands has become commonplace.

Analysts stress the urgent need for genuine anti-corruption reforms, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing concrete actions over mere rhetoric. Despite discussions on judicial reform and the establishment of a new anti-corruption commission, the effectiveness of anti-corruption efforts remains dismally low.

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