Monday, December 05, 2005

The wrong kind of corruption

An interview is published in the Austrian Die Presse, and re-published on the Romanian information site Focus-Engl, featuring Wolfgang Roth, European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President in charge of Central Europe and the EU candidate countries. The interview with Roth is entitled "We Don't Fund Corruption".

The investment arm of the EU pumps lots of money in the new member states. Last year, for example, contracts were signed for loans amounting to €3 billion and €570 million. A great amount of funds are also poured into Southeastern Europe: €461 million has been allotted for the Western Balkans – former Yugoslavia and Albania. Croatia only has received €200 million. Yet the sum allotted for the two candidate member states Bulgaria and Romania is less by €119 million.

When asked why the EIB invested comparatively less money in Romania and Bulgaria than in other EU-entry nations, Roth shot back: "I'm not interested in standing before the European Parliament as a financier of corruption. We were very careful there – many projects were slowed down by corruption."

Like leaves on the line, is this an example of the wrong kind of corruption?


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