A regular seating of the Opposition government was held on June 18. As usual, today’s most topical concerns of the state were addressed. The Party of Regions Leader Viktor Yanukovych put the following in his opening address:
- I would like to begin today’s governmental seating from the matters, which, in my opinion, are crucial for our country. We know that two working weeks remain till the end of the session. Therefore, over these two weeks the Party of Regions faction and all other parliamentary factions should consider most of the laws utterly needed by the country.
We suggested both in late April and in May considering the anti-crisis actions program and drawing up the appropriate budget under this program. We know well that the problems currently existent in the country are not only the authorities’ concerns. These are the problems of all Ukrainian people. But the power bears the responsibility for effectiveness of the actions in a fight against the crisis. It is the first point.

The second and the most important one is the social protection of the Ukrainians, of the most unprotected layers of the population. It is a crucial issue to be settled by the power in the first instance. I deem it to be our duty to make this issue our highest priority. I reiterate that so much attention should be given as it is needed to resolve it. Therefore, I suggest putting this question first. It is the anti-crisis program and budget. And in the budget we should see a solution to the most crucial issue, a rise in the living wage.

We know that the living wage in December 2008 equaled UAH 669 for those able to work, and UAH 498 for those who are not. In April 2009 the Labor Ministry promulgated data on the actual size of the living wage: UAH 851 for working citizens, and UAH 635 for non-working. UAH 182 were not earmarked for working citizens in the budget, and UAH 137 for non-working. This figure is a margin deliberately built in the budget. To put it shorter, we see a cut.

To date the pensioners receive UAH 250-300 less a month, and every employee on a government pay-roll receives UAH 800-100 less a month. It is entailed by the understated living wage.

We should put first this issue as the opposition’s demand, and make this matter settled by the end of the session so that the people would be protected.

We know that an unprecedented step was made for the first time over the history of the Ukrainian state, when the tariff position was iced at the level of UAH 545. Thus, a rise in social payments to certain vulnerable layers of the population, pensioners and disabled was actually frozen.

Certainly, we have a lot of issues which pose a challenge to our country. We see that today, as a result of the failed and irresponsible economic policy and introduction of manual control over the economy, there is actually no money to pay for the gas consumed. Each month the payment for gas consumed is made by means of the National Bank’s emission, and each month gold-currency reserves are dwindling. This way leads nowhere...

Another issue concerns the International Monetary Fund loans. How many times have we asked the government to report in public how much money was received and what it was spent for. We with you and the forthcoming generations are to pay off this money. But we still do not know how these loans are used.
Dear colleagues!

Over these two weeks we should conduct an open dialog with the power. We see that the reality, actual economic statistics are concealed, and today the country lives with its eyes closed. We do not know what to expect for in summer.

We comprehend how difficult is the situation in the village, in the agrarian sector of the economy. The harvest will be reaped. And what will happen then to the harvest? We would like this to be heard from the government, from the power. During our visits to the regions the people tell us that not a single program is financed in the agrarian sector of the economy this year.

General Kuzmuk, the Defense Minister of the Opposition government, will report on the situation existent today in the Armed Forces. He will inform about the real state of affairs. But we know well that the destruction of the Armed Forced started 5 years ago, and it gains momentum. The situation has aggravated considerably compared to the one which was 5 years ago. Today there is even no minister to be held accountable for this.

We see that the ministers are already escaping from this government. There are no four ministers so far. And Vinskiy, the Transport Minister, also resigned. Well, these are their internal squabbles because they accuse each other of lying, corruption, plundering budgetary funds... I guess the information on the Transport Ministry will be heard soon. But we with you know well that there is no hope for any positive points from the current authorities.

I would ask all ministers of the Opposition government, who are present at the seating, to prepare by Monday the amendments to the agenda, and submit them to parliament in due time. We will scrutinize them, primarily the aspects concerning the ways of protecting the people from today’s authoritarianism. I would like to ask Oleksandr Lavrynovych to be at the head of this work.

We know well the situation in the industry, that a drop accounts for about 32 per cent. And the situation is not improving. In addition, the problems are artificially raised when it comes to certain large enterprises, which are already divided into “one’s own” and “non-one’s own” on the political basis. All employees suffer hereupon. The Sumy Chemical Factory is an example. It did not get gas at first and was stunned, and then the board of directors was accused of allegedly bad work... As a result, five thousand workers of this enterprise suffer.

Our MPs visited this factory recently, and saw with their own eyes what occurs there, spoke to the people... The workers are rigid in their intention to assert their rights, but that is no help. Such examples are abundant in the country.

Today the power will make guilty anyone. It is their style of work. Today one is to blame, tomorrow – another. They do not see themselves, and do not want to see. They are always in “white”.

Therefore, the agenda for Verkhovna Rada work should be prepared by Monday taking into account our today's decisions. I ask you to table motions and prepare all the necessary documents: drafts, draft resolutions by Verkhovna Rada...
On Monday we will assert our point of view.
Source: Party of Regions press service

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