I read with astonishment the answers of the foreigners living in Bulgaria and openly confessing to having bribed policemen (Vagabond Vox Pop No. 33).
First of all, I am a guest in this country, so I have to follow the rules of my hosts, whether they obey them themselves or not.
Secondly, we can't complain of corruption here and at the same time find nothing wrong with passing a 20 leva note to a policeman. I know they don't get paid much and need some extra income in order to feed their children. But hey, this is not my problem. The Bulgarian state should pay decent salaries to its employees; it's not my duty to make up the deficit. Their job is to protect me, not to rob me.
Thirdly, I have been living in Varna for a year now and have never paid any bribes to anyone, even though I have been stopped several times, although I was driving absolutely correctly. Maybe this is also suspicious here. The police officer then asked to see the First Aid box, the reflective jacket and the fire extinguisher, which I didn't have because in Germany it is not obligatory to have one. Anyway, he let me go and told me to buy one at the next garage. That was all. Once I was driving too fast, so they stopped me. As I said I couldn't understand any Bulgarian, they went through the whole process of writing a ticket and going to the police station. In the end, I paid a 50 leva fine, but wasted three hours, because they didn't seem to be familiar with the process...
There I was at a point where bribery was an option. However, the problem is, when you've done it once, you can't stop and you'll start doing business this way too, and all you'll get in the end is trouble.
When you consider the whole consequences of corruption in regard to frozen EU funding, it brings more harm then benefits.
Pozdravi ot Varna!
Ivan-Alexander Jung, Germany
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