OLAF Funds Abuse Probes in Bulgaria Skyrocket

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | April 19, 2011, Tuesday // 13:13
Bulgaria: OLAF Funds Abuse Probes in Bulgaria Skyrocket The EU anti-fraud office OLAF is to publish in two months their yearly report on EU funds abuse. Photo by BNR

The European Union anti-fraud office OLAF is currently investigating more than twice as many cases of abuse and embezzlement of EU funds in Bulgaria compared with the previous record-holder year, 2009.

The information was reported Tuesday by the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR, citing data they have received from OLAF.

The current probes involving funds from the agriculture program SAPARD and funds for farming subsidies and development of rural regions are 65, compared to 26 at the end of 2009.

In 2009, when Bulgaria ranked first among countries with violations, there have been a total of 68 EU funds abuse probes in Bulgaria while they have now reached 85.

After farming, the largest number of violations is noted in the structural funds used for regional development, funds for the environment, human resources, and the so-called "external assistance" funds slated by the EU for the development of third countries.

So far OLAF have declined comments on the latest numbers and comparisons with other countries, saying they will do so in two months in their yearly report on EU funds abuse.

OLAF, however, reject wide-spread rumors and reports of investigating abuse of funds offered as compensation for the closure of reactors at the Bulgarian "Kozloduy" Nuclear Power Plant.

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Tags: investigations, probes, SAPARD, Bulgaria, EU funds abuse, OLAF, anti-fraud office, EU, Kozloduy, Nuclear Power Plant
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