KIEV, April 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Leader of Ukrainian Communists Pyotr Simonenko who is running for president, believes that the new Ukrainian authorities are trying to win the favor of western creditors for the sake of the next handout, i.e. more loans.
"Yatsenyuk /parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk - eds Itar-Tass/ says for some reason that the measures taken are rescuing the economy. In actual fact, these measures lead to the disintegration of the domestic market and growing poverty of the population," Simonenko's press service quoted him as saying. "Azarov's cabinet /the government led by former Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov/ would have easily received an IMF loan if it had agreed to such crippling terms. However, he was looking for other options while understanding the catastrophic consequences of such loans for the country."
The Communist leader believes that "Yatsenyuk should call things by their proper names, i.e. he must publicly announce that he is meeting the IMF demands. These demands have nothing to do with the revival of the national economy; on the contrary, they are leading to economic enslavement of Ukraine by the rich countries of the Golden Billion /wealthy people in industrially developed countries/."
According to Simonenko, Ukrainians can already feel the first results of the so-called anti-crisis measures. "The latest figures released by the State Statistics Service indicate that consumer prices have increased by 3 percent. Prices of food and soft drinks increased by 2.4 percent, and prices of eggs and fruit grew by 21.3 percent and 11.8 percent, respectively. Sugar and rice prices went up by 5.4 to 10.4 percent. Prices of fish, vegetables, dairy products, rose by 3.2 percent and clothes and footwear prices jumped by 6.1 percent. Transportation costs increased by 5.7 percent. Prices of medicines grew by 15 to 20 percent, on the average.
The politician expressed serious concern over the situation with the supply of medicines. Experts share the opinion that the introduction of Value-Added Tax on imported medicines might cause significant increases in prices of medical equipment, while the increase in prices of medicines might reach 80 percent.
"It's just the beginning. Economists believe that the poverty level in Ukraine will skyrocket by 100 percent as a result of the so-called "anti-crisis" measures," Simonenko said, referring to experts who had said that the government proposals lacked the measures towards stimulating economic growth, which was the reason behind general impoverishment of people.
He also noted that the government had not offered anything to combat corruption, such as countermeasures against theft of budget money during state procurements.
"Yatsenyuk's government went the easiest way by taking money from ordinary citizens. Meanwhile, big-time business people feel comfortable and continue to get richer," the politician said. "The government's action are aimed at meeting all the instructions of the International Monetary Fund. The measures increase budget revenue by increasing the tax burden on the economy. On the other hand, budget expenditure is slashed by a drastic cut in social benefits."
"The Communist Party is offering an entirely different way of economic development. But achieving industrial revival without strengthening the domestic market and liberation from the dictate of international moneylenders in the person of the IMF is not possible. The Communist Party remains the only political force which consistently stands for Ukraine's economic sovereignty, crucial for political sovereignty," Simonenko said.