Friday, February 23, 2007

Government's non-transparent campaign - "bleakest" in January

The non-transparency over expenses of government's campaign is the "bleakest", whilst the successful thwart of bribery and fraud in property restitution process is the most positive event in January in terms of corruption and the anti-corruption.

These two events got majority votes in the monthly opinion poll Corruption Barometer, conducted by NGO Zero Corruption and the independent news agency Makfax. The respondents include 17 chief editors of national electronic and print media in Macedonia.

"Government's campaign entitled Invest in Macedonia, deemed by most journalists and experts as good and indispensable, turned "bleak" after the Prime Minister said the campaign "will cost less that 1% of first investment". Given the general estimates amounting several million euros, the government acts non-transparently as it decided not to disclose the expenses of the campaign. Such decision was most probably prompted by political or pragmatic reasons."

This explanation was hailed by eight chief editors who took part in the survey.

Second on the list of "bleak" events, with 6 votes 'yes' is the scandal unfolding in the Macedonian Football Federation. The embezzlement reported in Macedonian Posts and lately confirmed by state auditor was ranked 3rd, and the conduct of the former government in connection with the sellout of Suvenir factory was ranked 4th of shortlisted events.

The successful thwart of attempted bribery and fraud during property restitution in Strumica process is deemed as the most positive event in the fight against corruption. The event was highlighted by 9 chief editors.

Namely, the police slapped corruption and fraud charges against a member of City Council and Commission in charge of property restitution procedure. He is said to have earned at least 120.000 euros. The Interior Ministry tracked out the case and legal proceedings are underway.

Second on the list of "light" events are the activities of the National Anti-Corruption Commission, which ended the first four-year mandate in January. Third on the list of positive events is the Interior Ministry's pro-active fight against corruption, as the ministry pursues the anti-corruption programme.

Corruption Barometer poll is conducted each month since December 2004. The respondents include chief editors of national media in Macedonia.

The January poll included chief editors of A1, Alsat-M, Kanal 5, Sitel and Telma; radio Kanal 77, newspapers Dnevnik, Vest, Utrinski Vesnik, Vrene, Vecer, Fakti and Biznis, weekly newspapers Fokus, Kapital and Aktuel, and Lobi online edition.

No comments: