Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What people really want..

An interesting [and IMO important] O.P. was posted today on the Lugansk-based irtafax website :

"62% of population consider that Ukraine in not heading in the right direction

According to an opinion poll carried out by "R&B Group" from 16th to 23rd October, 62% of the population of Ukraine consider that since the Match 2006 parliamentary election, the country is not going in the right direction. Only 14% held the opposite opinion, 24% couldn't really say.

69% consider that the political situation in Ukraine is unstable, 10% - stable, 21% - found it difficult to answer.

Those questioned named the current problems facing the country as: high prices and low quality of public services - 25%, low wages and unpaid wages - 19%, increases in prices, inflation - 19%, low pensions - 18%, poor material standing of people - 18%, and high level of unemployment - 17%.

Also mentioned were the low quality of medical services - 7%, high cost and low quality of education - 5%, shortage and high cost of living accomodation - 4%, problems with the health - 3%, high levels of corruption in state authorities - 3%, poor quality of roads - 2%, decline of agriculture - 2%, problems, connected with fuel - 2%.

In the opinion of those questioned, the government should concentrate on the following : increasing social payments - 41%, decreasing the level of unemployment - 29%, resolving gas problems within the framework of interrelations with Russia - 27%, and restoring lost ties with Russia - 24%.

The percentage of those questioned who consider the government must concentrate on the preparation of the economy of the country for the autumn-winter period - 23%, introduce tighter controls of the economy from the side of the state - 14%, resolve cadre questions - i.e. select a professional government team - 11%, and act to protect individual rights and freedoms - 8%.

The respondents considered the government must also act on the following: the entrance of Ukraine in NATO and European Union - 6% , the elevation of the status of the Russian language to that of a second state language - 3%, and lend support and increase agricultural productivity - 1%.

Sociologists questioned 2,200 respondents in all regions of the Ukraine. The samping error should not exceed 1,1%

The concerns of "Donbass" newspaper readers are revealed by today's lead story entitled: 'Even bread in now gilded'. The piece is about steep increases in the price of bread and includes a chart with bread prices in the main Donetsk oblast towns.

Another story on the irtafax describes problems with communal heating systems.

The irtafax website also carries a story informing its readers that the large Alchevsk metallurgical combine is halting production because of difficulties with the supply of raw materials. Trade union leaders have written to PM Yanukovych warning that other plants may soon have to shut down too, if prices for raw materials are not reduced.

The background to this dispute about which I posted last week can be found here.

"Simple commercial trading between the sellers and buyers of iron ore has become a battle. Opposition between the metallurgists and the miners last week reached, probably its highest intensity in the entire history of Ukraine. Among other things, geopolitical rivalry has appeared in the conflict, between domestic and Russian business."

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