If you've ever wondered what happens to the vast amounts of taxpayers' money that flows into the EU, read this and weep:
The EU, eager to improve the lives of the 7.5 million Bulgarians, dangled €11 billion, or nearly $15 billion, in aid. Far from halting crime and violence, the money effectively spread the corruption. Once Bulgaria's shady business types realized how much EU money was at stake, said many of Sofia's anti-corruption reformers, they moved from buying off politicians directly into politics.
Isn't it wonderful, the European Union? Today it's in your pay packet, tomorrow it's in the pockets of a Sofia "thickneck" and his murderous chums. As Tommy Cooper would say, "Just like that."