March 1, Victor Yushchenko took part in a meeting of the cabinet to sum up results of the year 2005, the President press office reported.

Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, NSDCU Secretary Anatoly Kinakh, governors and NGO representatives attended the meeting.

The Head of State complimented the government of Yuriy Yekhanurovon what they had achieved and reiterated that 2006 would be the time to introduce sectoral reforms.

“I want local executives to be proud of what they do in the center and locally,” he said.

Then the President commented on some key gains of the past year. Real incomes of the population grew by 20.1%. Although salaries were raised by up to 50%, he reminded those present that the government intended to equalize average budget and industrial salaries. The GDP per capita rate grew from 1.3% to 7%. Budget revenues increased by 1.6 times and foreign investments reached USD 7.8 bln. The inflation rate fell to 10.3% while the wholesale inflation rate decreased from 24% in 2004 to 9% this year.

“This means we control the retail market in case we need to correct prices,” Yushchenko said.
The government managed to stop the failure of the chemical industry, oil sector and machine-building. He said building and wholesale trade were “the only two depressed branches.”

The President added thatthe government had considerably improved the welfare of the people by creating more than a million of jobs in 2005.

The Chief of Staff pointed out that Ukraine had accelerated its cooperation with the European Union in many branches and reminded those present that last year the country had joined the Bologna process.

All these positive changes helped Ukraine to be recently recognized as market economy. We also obviously improved our relations with Great Britain, France and Russia. He opined that the Yushchenko-Putin Commission, which had been established to settle the most controversial issues in our interstate relations, corresponded to national interests of both Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

The liberalization of visa requirements boosted foreign tourism.

Summing up all these accomplishments, the President said: “This is where national patriotism stems from. We can be proud of that. These are the fruits of the nineteen ministers and the whole government system.”
The Head of State then outlined 2006 priorities. He first of all remarked that it was vital to more actively combat HIV/AIDS. Ukraine must also introduce “new policy of energy efficiency and energy consumption,” he said. Yushchenko then insisted that it was incumbent on the government to root out corruption. He said our country had made much progress in this direction and added that the Security Service, National Security and Defense Council and Prosecutor General’s Office were jointly formulating a concept to stop this shameful practice. He then outlined judicial, agricultural and forestry reforms.

“This year we will introduce specific economic reforms. Each minister must consistently introduce reforms in his own field. Local governors and other agencies should become your partners,” he said.   


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