On May 30, in Donetsk, Victor Yushchenko has said the oblast officials must fight organized crime and corruption, legalize the economy, improve relations with business, differentiate salaries, promote energy efficiency and social housing.

The President pointed out that the most important criterion to appreciate what the local government does is how well it deals with organized crime and corruption. At the moment, he said, law enforcement agencies both in Donetsk and throughout Ukraine “perform their duties to protect national interests badly.”

“You must actively fight corruption,” he addressed those working in law enforcement agencies but also urged the local officials to regularly inform the community of what is done in this area, the president press office told.

Energy efficiency is his serious demand to the local authorities and directors of big industrial enterprises.

“I expect the local officials and businessmen to work out an energy development plan,” he said, calling on them to also develop modernization plans.

The President admitted that rapidly rising energy prices were typical for the rest of the world, forcing industries to apply modern technologies.

“The price of oil, gas and other limited energy resources will obviously grow,” he said. Mr. Yushchenko added that the national economy, which consumes four times more energy than EU countries, could not be competitive until we radically decreased energy consumption. He also insisted that it was important to better control gas and energy payments.

When speaking about ways to legalize the economy, the Head of State said building constructive relations between government and business was the goal of the both sides. Addressing Donetsk businessmen, he said: “You must be the first to start building honest relations with the government.”

Then the Chief of State said the local government should support the people’s business initiatives and asked them to liberalize registration procedures for those wishing to start their own business.

Yushchenko also said there were very many poor people in the region, “although the average salary in Donetsk is UAH 1,095, which is 17,1% higherthan elsewhere in Ukraine.”

The local government should also build more houses for the poor and construct them simultaneously with apartments for the rich, he said.

Summing up his speech, the President said the democratic parliamentary elections had enabled the local government to work effectively.

“I am convinced today we have taken another step to have such a government in Donetsk region,” he said.


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