Eighty-eight per cent of Bulgarians think that corruption in the country is widespread, according to a special Eurobarometer poll, the results of which were released on July 13.
The poll, done between March 22 and April 17 2022, found that the number of Bulgarians holding this view had increased by eight percentage points since an equivalent poll in 2019.
The percentage of Bulgarians seeing corruption as widespread was 20 percentage points higher than the EU average.
A mere six per cent of Bulgarians saw corruption in the country as rare, six per cent answered “don’t know” and none of those polled said that there was no corruption in Bulgaria.
Fifty per cent said that corruption had increased in Bulgaria in the past three years, 34 per cent said that it had stayed the same, five per cent said that there was less corruption and 11 per cent answered “don’t know”.
With multiple answers possible, 67 per cent of Bulgarians said that the giving and taking of bribes and the abuse of power were widespread among the police and customs. This compares with an EU average of 28 per cent.
Sixty per cent said that bribery and abuse of power was widespread among officials awarding public tenders, 54 per cent among officials issuing building permits, 51 per cent among officials issuing business permits and 51 per cent in the health care system.
Forty-six per cent saw corruption as widespread among political parties in Bulgaria – lower than the EU average of 58 per cent, while 52 per cent said that it was widespread among politicians at national, regional or local level – again lower than the EU average, which was 55 per cent.
Eighty-three per cent believed that there was corruption in Bulgaria’s national public institutions, a decrease of one percentage point compared with the 2019 poll. The EU average was 74 per cent.
Asked if it was acceptable to give a gift to get something from the public administration or a public service, 46 per cent of Bulgarians said yes, an increase of 13 percentage points in the past three years.
Thirty-eight per cent said that it was acceptable to “do a favour” and 22 per cent said that it was acceptable to give money, while 76 per cent said that it was not.
Eighty-four per cent of Bulgarians said that too-close links between business and politics in the country led to corruption, compared with an EU average of 77 per cent.
Eighty-one per cent said that in Bulgaria, favouritism and corruption hampered business competition, against an EU average of 65 per cent.
Seventy-six per cent said that in Bulgaria, the only was to succeed in business was to have political connections. The EU average was 53 per cent.
Asked to which institution they would complain about corruption, believing that something would result, 44 per cent said the police, an increase of 12 percentage points in the past three years, but lower than the EU average of 63 per cent.
Twenty-one per cent said that they would complain to the media and 20 per cent to the anti-corruption agency, the Eurobarometer poll found.
(Photo: Interior Ministry press centre)
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