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Bulgarian customs officers and medics - most corrupt

Date: 13.12.2005

In many Central and Eastern European countries, including Bulgaria, Kosovo, Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine, customs officials are considered the most corrupt, shows the 2005 Global Corruption Barometer.

It is based on a Gallup International survey conducted on behalf of Transparency International for International Anti-Corruption Day 2005 and reveals widespread concern about corruption around the globe.

A total of 5% of the Bulgarian questioned in the survey said "yes" when asked whether in the past 12 months they have paid a bribe in any form. In that category Bulgaria was put together with countries such as Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Croatia, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Macedonia and others.

While only Kosovo ranks the medical sector as the most corrupt, other countries in the region - including Bulgaria, Moldova, Poland, Serbia and Ukraine - also give this sector relatively high ranks. Respondents in Cameroon, India, Nicaragua, Pakistan and Turkey express similar opinions.

Today's survey shows that people believe corruption is deeply embedded in their countries, said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International. When a poor young mother believes that her government places its own interests above her child's, or that securing services like that child's basic health care requires a hand under the table, her hope for the future is dampened. But embedded corruption can be rooted out when people join together to change the system that facilitates it.

Close to 55,000 people in 69 countries were polled as part of the Gallup International Voice of the People 2005 survey, between May and October 2005 to assess their views on corruption.

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