Corruption and Populism in Bulgaria

By Crombois, Jean | Contemporary Review, Winter 2008 | Go to article overview

Corruption and Populism in Bulgaria


Crombois, Jean, Contemporary Review


IF for most Western Europeans and British people in particular, Bulgaria, a country with a population of over 7,600,000 is seen as an idea) place for holidays or retirement, the situation in the country shows little sign of comfort. Since the summer. Bulgarian cases of corruption have been put under the spot-light in Europe. These have become particularly frequent since Bulgaria became a member of the EU in January, 2007. The first signal came in July when the European Commission published a negative report on the state of the judiciary system in Bulgaria. This was followed by the unprecedented decision to withhold funds devoted to Bulgaria for reasons of mismanagement and suspicion of fraud. In the first report, the European Commission did not go as far as activating the Justice and Home Affairs safeguard clause in the Accession Treaty. This would have led to a situation of non-recognition across the EU of court decisions made in Bulgaria. Nevertheless, the Commission emphasized the numerous dysfunctions of the Bulgarian judicial system such as the failure to prosecute in a number of high profile corruption cases as well as murder cases. In recent years, Bulgaria has indeed been plagued by several targeted contract killings. One of the last ones occurred in April, when a former mafia boss, turned novelist, Georgui Stoev, was assassinated by unmasked killers in front of a busy bus stop in broad daylight after having tried unsuccessfully to convince some judges to take action on the basis of the information he gave them. There is no doubt that such cases create a general feeling of impunity for most of their perpetrators and are seen by the population as additional proof that nothing can be done.

On 24 July 2008. the European Commission announced the suspension of 486 million euros destined for Bulgaria while emphasizing that the money would be released if the country introduced proper financial control over the fund's use. Four months later, on 25 November the EU announced it was definitively depriving Bulgaria of 220m euros. The EU Enlargement Commissioner. Olli Rehn said somewhat diplomatically 'I regret this decision because Bulgaria is an economic success story, it's a very committed and constructive member state, but [...] we have to respect the rules of financial management and therefore there is for the moment no other option".

In Bulgaria, the initial reaction to the July announcement was of apparent dismay. The socialist Prime Minister, Sergey Stanishev - governing a tripartite coalition with the party constituted by Simeon Sakskoburgotski (1) and the DPS (see below) - even attributed the problem to a lack of communication between the European Commission and the Bulgarian authorities. In reality, the Commission's decision did not come as a surprise at all. After Bulgaria joined the EU, the Commission kept monitoring the absorption of EU funds in its subsequent reports. In Bulgaria, the Prime Minister had anticipated the report by appointing Mrs Meglena Plougtchieva, a well-respected former Ambassador to Germany, as Vice-Prime Minister in charge of controlling the use of EU funds.

Stories of mismanagement, fraud and corruption are indeed all too common in Bulgaria. The local mafia that prospers on drugs, human trafficking and other illegal activities seems to be untouchable even if, from time to time, well-staged police operations meant essentially for external consumption are launched by the authorities - most of the time without tangible results. A new development in the relationship between politics and the mafia occurred in the context of the last local elections when local mafia leaders engineered the creation of political movements aimed at presenting candidates. Last April, the Ministry of the Interior was alleged to have sent advanced warnings to some mafia bosses of police raids. After weeks of such allegations, the Minister, Rumen Petkov, finally resigned while remaining an MP. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Corruption and Populism in Bulgaria
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.