UN CRITICIZES BULGARIA FOR CORRUPTED POLITICIANS
The UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the UN Development Programme for Europe and CIS, Mr. Kalman Mizsei, criticized Bulgaria for the corruption among its politicians. Mr. Mizsei made these comments during the presentation of the 2002 Global Report on Human Development, held in the Sofia National Palace of Culture on October 22. The report is made every year on the basis of information about the country's gross domestic product, the average life expectancy of the population, and the level of education, according to data collected in the two years preceding the creation of the report. In front of mayors, ambassadors and representatives of NGOs, Mr. Mizsei recommended Bulgaria's Vice Prime Minister Kostadin Paskalev that fighting corruption on all levels become the state's priority task. The judicial power should start to work more efficiently and the political system should be cleared of the corruption. There is no real democracy, if it is possible to buy magistrates and members of the parliament at a certain price, Mr. Mizsei underlined. He also added that the other East European countries with new democracies are facing the same problem.According to the UN document, Bulgaria ranks 62nd in the list of medium-developed countries. On top of the list is Mexico. Bulgaria ranks one place before Romania, two places before Serbia and Montenegro, and 29 places before Albania. At the same time, Bulgaria is 26 places behind Slovenia, 23 - behind the Czech Republic, and 13 - behind Lithuania.The report also shows that the least developed municipalities in Bulgaria are those of Yambol, Targovishte, Vidin, Sliven, Montana, and Pazardzhik, while the most developed are the city of Sofia as well as the municipalities of Vratsa, Bourgas, Stara Zagora, Varna, and Gabrovo.