The Donetsk region’s officials, as well as other local governments in Ukraine, should improve the investment climate to create new jobs, Victor Yushchenko said in Donetsk.

“The most serious problem for the Donetsk region is to create a climate encouraginginvestment,” he said.

The President also insisted that they must liberalize the local coal industry.

“Coal miners should be confident that they sell their coal for market prices,” he said.

Yushchenko outlined mechanisms to manage the mines: “As long as mines have no legal status, nothing will help create motivation forthis or that mine.” He said the coal industry was particularly important"when energy becomes more expensive all the time." Thus, “ideas to close coalmines should be removed from the agenda.” Hesuggested that the local government hold round tables on the issue.

The President said the government had created 1.15 – 1.18 mln jobs last year and 1.15 mln in 2005. There are 693,000 officially registered jobless people in Ukraine but only 240,000 vacancies, he continued.

“There are territories with a deficit of professionals for the first time,” he said.

Yushchenkosaid the country’s social and economic development was the main prerequisitefor boosting employment and stopping labor migration. He said this year’s budget deficit was one of the highest in the past several years and called the expected inflation rate of 7% “far from reality.” Experts claim inflation would be 11-12% this year, he added.

“If we take this inflation of 11-12%, which is more realistic than 7%, and add 2% of the raised income tax, we will see the people’s incomes fallby 14%,” he said, explaining why he demanded that the government and parliament revise the budget, president’s press office informs.


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