Non-payment of gas and electricity bills is 'causing anxiety' in the cabinet, according to Viktor Yanukovych.
"I have asked the fuel-energy complex headed by Klyuyev, Boyko and Tulub to investigate these questions. It's very painful because it is linked to the income portion of the budget. Examination, acceptance and bringing in of severe measures are in order here. If there is anyone who is still celebrating [Christmas], maybe I'll suggest that they do not return [to work at all]. Let them [continue] to celebrate," said the PM rather sternly. [It sounds clumsy in Ukrainian too.]
A Lugansk website reports:
"TeploKommunEnergo" turning off heating to Luganskites
In Lugansk the urban utility enterprise "Teplokommunenergo" has started turning off supply of heat to domestic dwellings because of consumers debts. Lugansk town council press- service reported that in the next few days heat will be turned off to 13 buidings. In all, the residents of 72 houses have received notice that heating may be disconnected. Yesterday heating to two buildings, whose inhabitants owed 177,9 thousand hryven and 167,7 thousand hryven, was turned off.
Data provided by the press- service of town council reveals that during December 38% of the inhabitants of Lugansk have settled their heating supply bills. Tariffs for heating in Lugansk were increased from 1st November 2006, from 2 hryven 8 kopecks to 4 hryven 56 kopecks per meter of the area being heated."
A high power delegation from the ministry of coal industry led by a deputy minister is in Lugansk today trying to resolve a strike by about 6000 miners who want an improvement in their 'social-economic' conditions.
65 % of Ukrainians are proud of their Ukrainian citizenship, which is 16% more than than in December 2002, according to an O.P. conducted by the Ukraine Sociology Service. Significant growth has been noted in all regions of the country. In particular, in Donetsk and Lugansk areas the figure has increased from 39% up to 60%, and in five western oblasts - from 59% up to 79%. Amongst persons up to 30 years of age, on the average, 71 % are proud of their citizenship. At the same time the number who more readily identified themselves with the former Soviet Union rather than with Ukraine fell from 39% to 34%.
The reduction was most marked in Kyiv (from 30% down to 18%). In eastern areas this parameter decreased from 62% up to 54%.
P.S. Another 'kriminalnyi avtorytet' - 'Kolya Rockero' - Mykola Lozynskiy [cool nickname] was shot dead in his Mercedes in Lviv today.