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Transparency International: Bulgaria bogged down in corruption under President Radev

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Bulgaria is deteriorating its position in the global anti-corruption ranking. The poorest country in the EU falls two positions lower comparing to 2020. In the latest Corruption Perception Index, Bulgaria ranked from 76th to 78th out of 180 countries. Thus, in the past year 2021 Bulgaria continues to be the EU country in which the local population has the strongest perception that corruption is spreading.

Bulgaria is ranked next to countries such as Burkina Faso and Benin. The closest to Bulgaria’s index from the EU country in the ranking is Hungary (73rd), and the neighbour of Bulgaria Romania that has climbed to 66th place.

Analysts recall that Bulgaria’s position in the anti-corruption ranking was regularly used as an occasion for political attacks against the government of former right-wing Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. He and his political party GERB ruled Bulgaria from 2009 to early 2021 with a short break. The main opponent of Borissov was the pro-Russian President Rumen Radev.

Commentators note now that the current ranking of Transparency International is actually an assessment of Radev’s fight against corruption, because he ruled the poorest EU country de facto alone in 2021 with two successive caretaker governments. Radev elected and appointed all ministers in both cabinets.

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