In the beginning of October the Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova was killed in Ruse, a city next to the Romanian border. She was raped, beaten and strangled. Before her death she reported about possible misuse of European Union funds in Bulgaria. She had a talk show in the local TV and talked with two investigative reporters about corruption.
Her death caused international consternation. She is the third reporter who was killed in the last two years in Europe. A lot of people believe that Marinova was killed because of her reports about corruption. Nevertheless the Interior Minister Mladen Marionw asserted: “it is about rape and murder” and did not believe that her work was the reason of her death.
Meanwhile the murderer was caught and is now in jail. He explained that he did not know the victim and that he has been on drugs and alcohol. Consequently her death is not connected in any way with her work. However this case caused a huge discussion about corruption and freedom of journalists in Bulgaria.
Fact is that Bulgaria is the most corrupt country in the EU and on the 72th  rang of worldwide corruption and worse than every other European country. The problems has been existing since the 1990’s. The government is fighting against corruption but not very successful. Bulgaria loses between 14 and 22% of its GDP every year. This is around 8 Billion and 12.5 Billion Euros, every year. However, the loss of money is not as high as for example in Italy, which loses 60 Billion Euros, every year.
On the other hand corruption is widespread. For example 76% of the citizens believe that political parties are corrupt and 86% believe that the judicial system is corrupt. According to the business-anti-corruption-portal the influence of politicians and business men is common. For this reason 75% of the entrepreneurs are paying for their security.
Corruption is a big problem in Bulgaria and authorities are not interested in catching the organized criminal groups and oligarchs. Consequently the grey market is growing and costs Bulgaria 1 Billion Euros per year.
Additionally politicians and businessmen are using the money from European funds for improving Bulgarian standards. Through this action the state administration, the health care system, the education system and media institutions have to suffer.
Sadly the corruption still grows. Bulgaria has not any independent anti-corruption agency and the new anti-corruptions-law does not work well. For example, whistleblowers are not allowed to stay anonymous and are as the interview partners from Marinova in danger. They said in the talk show, that they have been detained by the police as they investigated destroyed documents which would show the suspect deception from the EU funds.
This week the EU commission against corruption published a report about the fight against corruption in Bulgaria. For this reason the police caught a lot of corrupt politicians and business men. Consequently Bulgaria tries to fight against corruption because of the pressure of the EU commission. According to the report of the commission Bulgaria made a good development in the fight against corruption, in the last year.