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More than 1,000 picket outside parliament in downtown Kiev

December 25, 2014, 13:13 UTC+3 KIEV
The protests have been ignited by a recent plan announced by the cash-strapped Ukrainian government to cut state spending on the social sphere by almost $1 billion
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Policemen stand guard in front of the Parliament of Ukraine (archive)

Policemen stand guard in front of the Parliament of Ukraine (archive)

© EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

KIEV, December 25. /TASS/. More than one thousand people staged three pickets outside the Ukrainian parliament’s building, in downtown Kiev, on Thursday protesting against the government policies.

The ranks of protesters include teachers, who oppose cuts in social payments, as well as employees of the Ukrspyrt state enterprise of alcohol and liquor industry, calling on authorities to abandon privatization plans.

The protests held peacefully and no violations have been reported so far. However, security has been tightened at the parliament building.

In addition, another four pickets, involving around 700 people, are held near the Kiev city state administration.

The Ukrainian capital Kiev was hit by several protest actions on Wednesday. The protesters included the Chernobyl NPP personnel who urged the government to adopt a law guaranteeing them a shortened working day.

Several thousand people participated in an all-Ukrainian protest action in downtown Kiev on Tuesday, calling to stop financial slavery and dismiss corrupt officials.

The protests have been ignited by a recent plan announced by the cash-strapped Ukrainian government to cut state spending on the social sphere by almost $1 billion.

Ukraine’s Finance Ministry has introduced a new social policy under which some 100,000 teachers are to be sacked over two years. Currently, the number of unemployed in the country with a 42 million-strong population reaches 2 million. The spending on Ukraine’s science and education will also be cut by $200 million. Over 400 schools in rural areas will be closed, and some social benefits, including free meals and extra payment for academic degrees, will be scrapped.

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