Economic Policy Review ISSN 1313 - 0544

Murders and the economy

Author: Zornitsa Manolova / 08.05.2008
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The Bulgarian people are witnessing a large number of scandals, frauds, plunders, rackets and murders. During the last week the criminals again proved themselves - crimes during daylight, undiscovered witnesses and undiscovered perpetrators. On Sunday and Monday were executed two murders for political and economic reasons - a writer who was describing the underworld in Bulgaria and a company director.

All this is not new. During years after the transition the ordered murders in Bulgaria increased sharply when wealth and territories were distributed, old accounts were settled and to take new positions. During the chaos of the transition years, when the State was unable to maintain public order, the grey economy and the black markets took a significant share of the economy. The non formal groups of that time play the role of judge and power.

Usually the criminals do not attempt to get justice in court, thus the decision is to order murder, which in many cases is demonstrative. The road to wealth in those years looks like closely link to the risk of "deadly" consequences. Bulgaria passed though murders in all sectors of the economy - from the grain business and the industry to the politicians. Taking someone's life became an expression of position and interests.

The problem in not in the several murdered criminals with doubtful reputation but the degree of finding and prosecuting the perpetrators Who is responsible in that case and does it mean that the governments with their actions simply take side in the "disagreements" of the criminal groups?  With crime of that size usually the government creates working groups and co-ordination centers, where many specialists in criminal investigations and experienced field personnel attempt to discover the perpetrators.   In many of the cases, however, there is not result, although enormous amount of resources have been put to work. Obviously this is a big problem of law enforcement.

These events alarmed the European Commission, which reminded several times that Bulgaria must undertake urgently measures to fight the organized crime and corruption, because such actions take away from the country a lot of money , provided by the EC, as we have been convinced recently. 

It seams that we must think of building more stable and more transparent institutions in Bulgaria, where corruption is widely spread. This will increase the number of cases solved and would limit the possibility of their execution.

When the link between the government and the organized crime is destroyed, the problems would be reduced sharply, although they would not vanish.  It is important to reduce the economic stimuli for the existence of gangsters, mafia, grey economy and black markets.

Naturally the economy could not clean itself from such actions. They exist everywhere around the world and are always a known percentage. There are many examples in the countries in transition as well as in the developed countries with market economy and developed democracy. At the same time there are many examples of reducing the organized crime and controlling corruption on a World scale and in particular in the countries from the European Union. In order to continue forward with our economic development we must really do some work.