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And, yes, I DO take it personally: EU suspends aid to Bulgaria
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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

EU suspends aid to Bulgaria


the last time i was in bulgaria was in october 2006, about three months before its accession to the eu... i thought at the time that accession was premature, that there was simply too much corruption and that the eu might regret opening the door to both bulgaria and romania, although i don't have any direct experience with romania... looks like my hunch was well-founded...
The European Commission has suspended EU aid to Bulgaria worth hundreds of millions of euros because of concerns about corruption and organised crime.

Commission spokesman Johannes Laitenberger said the EU was also withdrawing the right of two Bulgarian agencies to manage EU funds.

He said Bulgaria needed a new penal code to ensure more effective justice.

Romania was also criticised for shortcomings in its judiciary, including politicisation of cases.

Romania will escape penalties for now, but the report says reforms there are "fragile".

About 500m euros (£400m; $800m) of aid to Bulgaria is being frozen by the commission.

Both countries have been under close supervision since they joined the European Union in January 2007.

In Bulgaria, "the fight against high-level corruption and organised crime is not producing enough results," Mr Laitenberger said, presenting the reports on Wednesday.

the article goes on to say that, under intense bulgarian lobbying, the report was "toned down"... imho, that's a mistake... as much as i like the people of bulgaria, and also with due respect to my friends there who are decent, honorable people, bulgaria is a mess... i fully suspect the same hammer needs to fall on romania...

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