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Press Conference for Coalition 2000's Corruption Indexes of the Population
In the period November 18 – 26, 2004 Vitosha research conducted its regular survey on corruption perceptions among the population in Bulgaria. The survey was part of the Corruption Monitoring System of Coalition 2000. The results were presented by Ms. Angelina Videnova, sociologist at Vitosha research, at a press conference at the Center for the Study of Democracy on 21 December, 2004.

According to Mr. Alexander Stoyanov, Vitosha research director, after the considerable decrease in the index measuring corruption perceptions registered in March 2004, the current survey shows return towards the higher average values, typical for 2003. This is valid both for the cases of exerted corruption pressure by public officials and for the realized corruption deals. If measured in absolute terms, the increase in the number of actually concluded corruption deals in the public sector in November 2004 is about 20 000 cases per month as compared to March 2004. This means 1.6% of the country’s adult population or 103 000 cases per month (for comparison in March 2004 the average monthly number of the citizens who participated in such acts was 80 000).

A change is also observed in the structure of the priority problems for the society: as a result of the government activities the acuteness of problems like “unemployment” and “poverty” has decreased. Low income of the population and crime levels are rated at the same positions as social phenomena (as in March 2004). On the other hand, the perception of corruption as a social problem has moved to a third position according to its significance (from fifth place in March 2004).

The increase of the value of the corruption deals, registered in March 2004, continues. It could be concluded that there is a steady shift towards higher levels in terms of the amount of the bribes offered in the form of money, gifts, or favors. About one third of the given bribes were with a value ranging between 100 and 500 Leva, as for a period of one year this share has increased from 15 to 30%.

The past one year has been marked by dynamic change among the various professional groups in terms of the corruption pressure they exert over the citizens. For some of the groups was observed an initial increase , followed by a rеturn to their usual levels. The results in the November 2004 survey show an increase in corruption pressure exerted by doctors, who not only return to the high levels of corruption pressure exerted in 2002, but is also occupied the top of the ranking. The situation is similar with the police officers, who rank second with very close values of the corruption pressure exerted to the one of the doctors.

Another interesting result registered by the current survey is the increase of the corruption pressure at the municipal level – i.e. corruption pressure exerted by municipal officials, mayors and councilors. This result could be explained with the reallocation of bigger financial resources towards the local governments and the process of administrative and financial decentralization. It is yet to be seen whether these observations will be preserved as a tendency in the future or they were a result of accidental fluctuation.

It should be noted, however, that besides the fluctuations in the values of the indicators and their increase in comparison to March 2004, a considerable decrease of the corruption level is observed in comparison to the beginning of the corruption monitoring, conducted by Coalition 2000 (since 1998). This gives us a good reason to consider that although it might look a difficult task, the limiting of corruption is not impossible after all, in case there is a clear strategy and consistent anti-corruption policies.

Information about the event
Press release (available only in Bulgarian)
Presentation of Vitosha Research of the Main Results from the Population Corruption Survey for the Second Half of 2004 (available only in Bulgarian) (MS Powerpoint, 430 kb)
Media coverage

Additional information
Coalition 2000' corruption indexes
Coalition 2000’ corruption indexes of the population
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