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Good News, Bad News
Virus giving Ukrainian leaders a big pain in the ass
It’s day whatever of Ukraine’s coronavirus disaster and I am pleased to report several positive developments.
On March 27:
Ukraine finally started reporting the number of people tested for COVID-19.
The country’s military medics have adopted proactive measures against the virus.
Fewer Kyiv residents who are not sick wear gauze masks while jogging.
Alas, there is also some bad news.
On March 26, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement:
“Adoption of legislation to improve the bank resolution framework and on land reform would allow moving forward quickly with finalizing the parameters of the new arrangement, with larger access than previously envisaged.”
This translates into Ukrainian as follows: Parliament should adopt the anti-Kolomoisky bank and land reform draft laws. Or else no money.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s government has proposed to abolish support for farmers and increase funding for Pension Fund by UAH 20 billion, according to Member of Parliament Oleksiy Honcharenko (European Solidarity Party faction).
“The Cabinet proposals are shocking. Тhey propose to increase the state budget deficit by over UAH 200 billion, while reducing revenue, but at the same time increasing expenditures,” Honcharenko said on Telegram.
According to the proposed amendments, the Cabinet also intends to cut a number of subventions to local budgets, namely for the construction and repair of roads by UAH 3.24 billion, to UAH 18.9 billion, and for local elections by more than UAH 2 billion, to UAH 1.3 million.
The amendments also provide for a reduction in the financing of the State Road Agency (Ukravtodor) by UAH 3.27 billion, to UAH 18.9 billion.
Regarding the country's power bloc, proposed financing of the Interior Ministry would remain at almost the same level - UAH 92 billion. Budget expenditures for the Prosecutor General's Office are proposed to be cut by UAH 50 million, to UAH 7.55 billion.
There’s been a lot of chatter about holding an extraordinary parliament plenary session over the weekend to discuss these and other matters, but nothing definitive has been announced yet.