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Bulletin, Volume 8

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In this issue

Almost hundred defendants, including former mayors, former city officials, entrepreneurs, lawyers and art dealers face possible jail terms amounting to a total of up to 500 years and fines totaling about one billion euros in Spain's biggest ever corruption trial. They are accused of corruption in approving the planning permits and selling state owned land in Marbella, a jet-set tourist resort in the south of Spain. The Spanish Prosecutor’s Office needed three years to gather enough evidence and start this big-time corruption trial, which is expected to last about a year.

Over the Atlantic, Mexico's federal police agency has fired nearly 10 percent of its force this year for failing checks designed to detect possible corruption, a major obstacle in the country's battle against increasingly brutal drug gangs. Mexico's federal police are required to undergo periodic lie detector, psychological and drug examinations, and the government routinely investigates their finances and personal life. The sacking came as a result of President Felipe Calderon’s all-out war against the drug cartels, which has left some 28,000 people dead since he came to power in December 2006.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina – EU High Representative openly said the corruption has entered all pores of the society and called on the citizens to take this fact into account at the next voting.

In addition, we also provide journalistic analysis of the failure of Macedonian authorities to fully utilize the domestic and international funds and donations for reconstruction of schools, pinpointed in the latest auditing report of the Ministry of Education and Science.

We also present the main remarks to the public procurement process in the country, registered in the public procurement monitoring which was conducted by the Center for Civil Communications in the past two years. The monitoring not only highlights the weaknesses and possible abuses in the public procurement, but also serves as a basis for developing recommendations for improving the situation. The recommendations are then disseminated to all competent institutions in the country.

Corruption is also a major problem in neighboring Kosovo, where the analysts are now focused on the announced sale of the state telecommunication operator. The main problem lies in the selection of consulting company, which in the country of its origin is under governmental supervision for previously detected irregularities.

Working teams comprised of mayors in four municipalities in eastern Macedonia work on implementing the recommendations for improving the transparency, accountability and responsibility of their work and increasing the participation of citizens in decision making process in the local communities.

At the end of this issue, you will find a bricolage of posters from anti-corruption campaigns from several countries in the world. Although they all have the common denominator – preventing corruption, the illustrations depict the specific features of the fight against corruption in these countries. We hope that this issue of the anti-corruption newsletter will make you think of the types and manners for preventing this evil in our country.

Eighth MAK issue can be found here