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Economic Policy Changes in Ukraine

Economic Policy Changes in Ukraine

Yesterday Julia Timoshenko made the first working trip in the status of the head of the government. She went to Donetsk where she held a meeting with families of the miners who died as a result of explosions in the mine named after Zasyadko and the meeting devoted to questions of the coal industry. Prime-minister Timoshenko scarified the work of the governmental commission on liquidation of consequences of the failure created by the last government and informed about creation of a new one.


The cabinet is going to increase average pension of miners more than on 1000 hryvnyas (200 dollars) per a month in 2008. It was declared by the Minister of Labour and Social Policy Lyudmila Denisova at a meeting with labour collective of the mine named after Zasyadko in Donetsk.


As she said, since the 1st of January, 2008 the Ministry is going to reconsider a level of average wages in the country and to increase it up to 928 hryvnyas per a month. In this connection recalculation of pensions of workers of the coal industry will be also carried out.


As Denisova noted, after recalculation the average pension of miners would increase more than on 1000 hryvnyas per a month. The cabinet initiates increase in minimum pension on 39,6% up to 498 hryvnyas (100 dollars) in 2008.


The Ministry also created telephone "hot line" for objective investigation of reasons of failure in the mine named after Zasyadko. The Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko informed about it at a meeting with relatives of the dead, injured at the enterprise miners as a result of the recent failure and labour collective of the mine.


It's good that Prime Minister Timoshenko begins with concrete promises, - editor-in-chief of FORUM.msk Anatoly Baranov noticed, - as soon as it will be necessary either to carry out these promises or it will become evident that the government can't for some reason keep faith. Earlier the head of the Ukrainian editorial board Vladimir Filin already closely stopped on the reasons of incessant failures in the mines. In relation to the mine named after Zasyadko, which was visited by Julia Timoshenko, it is necessary to note that it's not even privatized but leasehold enterprise that is an enterprise with the most predatory form of ownership known from Gorbachev's times. In a situation of rent new "owner" of the enterprise privatizes only turnaround means and profit, while fixed assets and, accordingly, care of their safety and development remains on the state. The profit is deduced, while on the balance of the state only ruins remain. In due time ruin of the enterprises by means of rent became in our country the first step to extortionate privatization - the cost of fixed assets reached insignificant, symbolical sizes and new nouveau riches could get them in agreement with the state for 1-2% of the real cost. Probably, the mines of Donbass await the same destiny and incessant failures are simply the cost of a process of preparation for privatization. Julia Vladimirovna said nothing about that aspect of a problem, it made uneasy - the government of Janukovich despite of moderately left rhetoric and presence of communists and socialists in coalition carried out rigid enough liberal policy. Whether Timoshenko will continue the same direction only with privatization in favour of other persons and structures or she is going to carry out another course? There is no answer yet to this question.


Despite of all criticism to the address of coal branch and mine named after Zasyadko the Prime Minister is not going to demand its closing, she is not going also to change control system in the branch, she declared about it in Donetsk.


"The second question - social policy of Timoshenko's government, - Anatoly Baranov noted. - Increase in pensions should attract sympathy of actively voting population to the work of the government. We shall remind that the last dead miner was in the age of 61 years, that is in pension one. In reality the miners on the mine named after Zasyadko earn 2,5-3,5 thousand hryvnyas or 500-700 dollars. It is little even by the Russian standard but by the Ukrainian - quite tolerant. Тimoshenko suggests to increase pension of the miner practically up to a level of his salary. It's possible to realize it, but a sharp growth of inflation will be the price of benefit such as it is offered to raise all pensions in general on 100 dollars. Janukovich's government headed in general the rate of hryvnya in rigid fixup to dollar. Probably, now it "will be released", that's for export oriented part of the Ukrainian industry is not bad. It means the end to the rigid liberal policy but it means also the end to pragmatism. The economy of Ukraine enters a strip of uncertainty, large repartitions of the property and different not always pleasant surprises. All this - political risks for Timoshenko's cabinet but she, apparently, is firmly going to risk. However 45 mln of citizens will take risk together with her and not always voluntary.


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