41.5% of Bulgarians would not report corruption should they witness it or have information about it due to the low trust in relevant institutions and fear that they would suffer negative consequences from doing so, a survey by Transparency International (TI) showed on July 13.
Bulgaria has intensified its efforts to show results in the fight against top-level corruption and organised crime, however, it has failed to deliver any significant result so far. Although former top-level executives have been charged, none of them have been convicted. Moreover, members of the ruling coalition seem untouchable and many citizens have the feeling that the prosecution and police forces are used only to chase those who are against the ruling party.
According to TI, the most significant cases of corruption that Bulgarians pointed out as problems are political corruption, abuse of public funds, and corruption in the judicial sector.
“A priority direction in which the institutions should focus their efforts is to investigate the high-level corruption. Citizens want clear and distinct actions of effective investigations and punishment of corrupt persons,” TI said in a statement on the report.
71.2% of those surveyed said that the authorities should investigate top-level corruption, while 63.2% said the local authorities should also be investigated and 58.5% pointed out that the authorities must also focus on people working in the state administration.
According to the survey, 24.5% of people would report cases of corruption to the media, hoping that publicity would lead to results. However, just 13.5% of them would report such cases to the newly-established special anti-corruption body due to lack of trust in its independence.
There are three key conditions under which people would refer suspected corruption to the anti-corruption body – if they believe that those cases would be investigated objectively, if their identity is well protected and if they are well protected from any possible negative consequences from filing such reports.
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