Top Croatias officials want more anti-graft efforts

The battle against corruption, along with the reform of the judiciary and state administration, are among the requirements for Croatia to keep its EU membership bid on track and wrap up accession talks next year.

Top Croatias officials want more anti-graft efforts
Croatian leaders said on Monday the fight against corruption had been insufficient so far and the president announced a new anti-graft drive to meet the conditions to complete European Union accession talks next year.

"I'm not satisfied. Despite many institutions being involved in anti-graft activities, the problem persists," President Stjepan Mesic said after a meeting with Prime Minister Ivo Sanader and Parliament Speaker Luka Bebic on anti-corruption measures.

State radio quoted Sanader as saying he was launching a fresh action plan.

"We've yielded some results, but there have to be more steps like the one in the privatisation fund a year ago," the radio quoted Sanader as saying. He was referring to the arrest last year of several senior privatisation officials in an anti-graft drive. Their trial continues.

The battle against corruption, along with the reform of the judiciary and state administration, are among the requirements for Croatia to keep its EU membership bid on track and wrap up accession talks next year.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn told Reuters on Monday: "We need improved structures to fight corruption (in Croatia) and we need to see results."

According to surveys, corruption is most widespread in the public health sector, judiciary and state administration, where bribes can expedite services.

Croatia hopes to join the EU in 2010 or 2011, but first has to show a good track record of implementing necessary reforms.

Reuters
Last Mod: 17 Haziran 2008, 11:38
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