Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Winter of discontent..again?

This winter Ukrainians are being hit with massive price increases - a doubling and more of their housing-communal-services tariffs and utility charges.

I've posted blogs about rumblings of discontent, particularly in the eastern parts of the country previously. Today 'Oglyadach' publishes results of a recent opinion poll in which repondents were questioned on these matters.

72% thought that there was no justification for the increases.
31.3% said they would refuse to pay the increased tariffs,
and 48.5% thought it was the government that was to blame for the increases.

Surprisingly only 14.4% considered that no one was responsible, and that the tariffs had increased because of increase in the price of Russian gas.

The author ends his article rather ominously: "So with the first cold spells of November and December we should expect serious mass actions. The experience of Orange revolution shows that the snows of revolution are not an obstacle.."

Today the President's Secretariat issued a detailed statement: "The President's Secretariat calls on the Government and VR to take into account the Head of State's comments on the Projected 2007 Budget," which enumerates the many parts of the budget with which he is not happy.

This may well develop into a deeper conflict between the Pres and Gov - the Pres could refuse to sign-off the budget, gaining some 'brownie points' from the electorate.

The 'Novosti.dn' website has published a list of the most valuable Ukrainian corporations:

1. Naftohaz Ukrainy [state-owned oil and gas co.] $10.9Bn
2. Metinvest Holding [SCM] $18.14Bn
3.UkrZaliznytsya [State Railroad] $12.53Bn
4.Industrial Union of Donbas $10.22Bn
5. NAEK Energoatom[State Atomic Energy Company] $7.18Bn
6.TNK-BP [Alfa-Group] $7.07Bn [incl.Russian Mikhail Fridman]
7.MMK im.Il'ich [Mariupol worker's collective] $7.00Bn
8.DTEK - Donbas Fuel and Energy Company [SCM] $5.8Bn
9.Interpipe [Pinchuk] $5.7Bn
10.Zaporizhstal $5.18Bn [Interesting link here]
12. Mittal Steel Ukraina $5.09Bn
and so on.

Predominantly in eastern part of the country..

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