Bulgaria PM 'Should Personally Take Over Anti-Corruption Body'
Bulgaria's Deputy PM Meglena Kuneva said on Friday she would put forward the candidacy of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov as the head of the new anti-corruption agency due to be set up in the days to come.
This follows announcements earlier this week that Sofia would seek to establish the so-called "Single Anti-Corruption Body" (abbreviated EAO in Bulgarian), with the government's draft project ready for discussion among lawmakers but still waiting for a financial framework.
Kuneva is quoted by daily Trud as telling reporters Friday that the EAO would have also have a civic council which would employ its members giving them salaries. She warned everybody applying to work at the institution would come under constant scrutiny on a daily basis.
PM Boyko Borisov has not yet commented on Kuneva's proposal that he take over as the EAO's first chair.
But he stressed on Friday during a visit to the Black Sea city of Varna that Bulgaria will outpace Romania in fighting corruption "in up to four months."
Over the past months Romania has been hailed by the European Commission for its success in tackling corruption and organized crime, jailing a number of politicians including former government ministers.
Until recently, Bulgaria and Romania were constantly paired together by the Commission which established for them the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), producing regular reports on corruption and organized crime.
However, Romania's anti-corruption campaign has resulted in a more positive report for Bucharest this year compared to the one for Sofia. A positive CVM report is considered to be a key step toward accession to the Schengen borderless area, a goal to which Bulgaria has aspired for years.
Some politicians in the government are repeatedly warning that Bulgaria risks being decoupled from Romania in monitoring.
PM Borisov, for his part, blames the administration of his predecessor Plamen Oresharski for the developments.
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