Bulgarians See Politics, Hospitals, Customs as 'Most Corrupt' - PollSociety | July 27, 2016, Wednesday // 08:53| views
Politicians, doctors and customs officers are pointed out by Bulgarians as "most corrupt" in a recent Gallup survey.
Separately, an overwhelming majority believes problems the country's controversial judicial system are caused by politicians.
Of 1605 people interview by phone by Gallup International Balkan earlier in June, 23% describe politics as the area most affected by corruption.
Hospitals come second in the answers with 20%, followed by customs offices (14%), courts (12%), police (7%) and the prosecutor's office (6%).
There are lower results for the municipal administration (5%), tax officials (3%) and the education system (1%). As many as 9% say they are unable to answer.
Against this backdrop, only 2% of respondents say they have been asked for a bribe by a politician.
Doctors allegedly required bribes from 28% of respondents, followed police (21%), municipal officials (10%), customs officers (8%), tax officials (5), judges (2%) and prosecutors (2%).
Commenting on the judiciary, 75% of respondents have agreed that it is politicians who cause the problems in the judicial system, compared to 18% disagreeing and 7% unable to say.
Asked whether it is flawed legislation that prevents the system from functioning, respondents are more divided, with 52% agreeing, 44% disagreeing and 4% unable to say.
A striking 89% agree that "Politicians themselves hold no interest in changing the laws under which the judicial system is functioning, since the current state is convenient to them." Only 8% disagree, and 3% can't say.
Addressing one of the systematically recurring issues in the judiciary - the acquittal of most defendans in high-profile cases - 55% of respondents say it is the outcome of "corruption and political influence in courts". "Outdated criminal legislation that blocks the work of the prosecution" is chosen by 19%. "Low quality work by the prosecutor's office" has been pointed out by 13%. Eight percent have blamed inefficient investigation done by police, and 5% have been unable to reply.
Bulgaria has often been criticized by Brussels for being the single EU member state where no top politician has ever been jailed for corruption, despite substantial evidence suggesting their involvement. The Justice Ministry under the current government has repeatedly thrown the blame on the prosecution, which disputes this, and some arrangements in the courts.