Alarm about corruption at Bulgarian border

World December 5, 2017 16:51

brussels - Corruption among Bulgarian civil servants causes extremely long waiting times at the Turkish-Bulgarian border, according to two MEPs, including Kati Piri (PvdA). They call on the Bulgarian government after ten years of EU membership to tackle corruption 'at last seriously'.

In a black book, the duo state that motorists are forced to give kickbacks to border and customs officials. They are also obliged to have their car disinfected against payment, while there is no need for it. In addition, corrupt agents distribute unjustified fines and sell away vignettes above the official price.

The black book is based on more than two hundred complaints from EU citizens. It will be presented on Wednesday in Brussels to the European Commission and the EU Ambassador of Bulgaria, who will take over the rotating EU Presidency on 1 January.

' I am really shocked at how big the problem is '', said Piri, who came into action after the Eindhoven alderman Yasin Torunoglu told her about his experiences. 'After years of complaints about corruption at the border, our investigation shows that to date no customs official in Bulgaria has actually been convicted for this illegal practice. EU citizens with a Turkish background also feel that they are not being taken seriously. ''

Bulgaria and Romania have been subject to special supervision by the European Commission since their accession to the EU because of widespread corruption and the shortcomings of the legal system.

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