US Ambassador: Bulgaria Now Is Calmer Place to LiveDiplomacy | February 17, 2011, Thursday // 20:12| views
"Bulgaria now is a calmer place to live," Ambassador Warlick said during his visit to the city of Stara Zagora on Thursday, but added that there is a lot of work to be done in the judicial system and the battle against corruption. Photo by EPA/BGNES
US ambassador to Bulgaria James Warlick has praised the country's embattled interior minister, saying the government has made huge strides in the combat against corruption.
"Bulgaria now is a calmer place to live," Ambassador Warlick said during his visit to the city of Stara Zagora on Thursday, but added that there is a lot of work to be done in the judicial system and the battle against corruption.
Asked about the surprising resignation of the head of the Bulgarian secret police, Ambassador Warlick said this is a domestic issue and expressed the hope that the newly established Center for Prevention of Organized Crime and Corruption (BORKOR) will be beneficial for the country.
This is not the first time that the American Ambassador speaks up in support of Bulgaria's Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov. Speaking in March 2010, less than a year after the center-right government of Boyko Borisov came into office, Ambassador James Warlick praised the strong will of the government and the citizens to fight organized crime, but has warned the results will not be immediate.
Prime Minister Borisov, who made his name fighting corruption as mayor of Sofia, swept to power in 2009 with the promise to clamp down on rampant graft and organized crime.
Bulgaria has been ranked the second most corrupt country in the European Union only after Greece in a corruption perception index by Transparency International, a Berlin-based watchdog.
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