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Pressure is mounting on Bulgaria to focus on border corruption ahead of its European Commission presidency.7 December 2017
Ministers of the European Parliament have published a report on corrupt border officials at the Turkish-Bulgarian border, urging Sofia to take immediate action to address the problem, reports Euractiv.
Dutch European Parliamentary Member Kati Piri and her Belgian colleague Kathleen van Brempt, who are both from the center-left Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats political group, said they received a significant number of complaints from EU citizens, who travelled to and from Turkey by car for holidays last summer.
The report details the solicitation of bribes by border guards and a spurious requirement to pay for compulsory vehicle “disinfection,” which one EU citizen quoted in the report described as “driving over a puddle of muddy water.”
“This corruption must come to an end. Bulgaria joined the EU 10 years ago and has received millions of grants to put an end to corruption, but far too little progress has been made,” Piri said, cited by Euractiv.
Pressure is especially mounting on Bulgaria to tackle corruption ahead of its term as president of the Council of the European Union, which will begin in January 2018. The autumn sitting of the Bulgarian Parliament opened on 1 September with promises of new anti-corruption legislation, reports The Sofia Globe.
The parliamentary leader of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov’s center-right GERB party, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, said there was widespread public expectation for an effective anti-corruption body.
“We will move towards a fairer, faster, and more efficient justice system,” he said.
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