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September 16, 1992 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-09-16

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 16, 1992- Page 7

Russian farmers protest subsidy cuts

MOSCOW (AP) - Russian un-
employment could jump nearly 20-
fold to more than 5 million people
next year as cuts in subsidies drive
more businesses into bankruptcy, a
senior official said in remarks pub-
lished yesterday.
Farmers picketed in cities across
Russia yesterday, protesting that re-
forms have driven up the prices they
must pay at a faster rate than prices
they receive for their produce.
Inflation has skyrocketed since
President Boris Yeltsin accelerated
reform by freeing prices last
January. So far his government has
balked at cutting subsidies to un-
profitable state-owned businesses for
fear of sinking them and throwing
millions out of work.
Yeltsin vowed last week to fight
hyperinflation by slashing subsidies.
A wide-scale privatization program
he promised to launch Oct. 1 is ex-
pected to cause bankruptcies and
social hardship.
Economics Minister Andrei
Nechayev said the number of people
needing work next year could rise to
about 7 million people, or 8 percent
of the work force.
Nechayev, quoted in the govern-

ment's Rossiskiye Vesti (Russian
News), said about 5 million of the 7
million would be officially 'jobless,'
of which about 4.7 million will re-
ceive unemployment relief.
The number of people now regis-
tered as jobless is 248,000, the daily
Moskovsky Komsomolets reported.
Authorities have said the real
jobless figure may be twice the
official one.
Officials from the International
Monetary Fund and World Bank
have made loans to Russia condi-
tional on efforts to reduce the budget
deficit, forcing Moscow to curb sub-
sidies to the state-owned businesses
and factories that still dominate the
economy.
Yeltsin and other Russian offi-
cials have told Western authorities
that subsidies cannot be cut abruptly
for fear of forcing too many people
out of work and causing a social ex-
plosion.
Pressure from powerful factory
managers has forced Yeltsin to con-
tinue to subsidize them and to post-
pone plans to privatize the defense
industry.
Many Russians fear privatization
of government-owned businesses

and Western levels of joblessness.
Those fears are so great that
Russian lawmakers have balked at
allowing private ownership of land,
a keystone of market reform.
Protests could spread if Yeltsin's
government goes ahead with plans to
stop bankrolling inefficient factories
and businesses.
Farmer demonstrations were held
in Moscow and six other cities
Tuesday, the ITAR-Tass news
agency said. They demanded help
paying higher fuel prices.
Several hundred demonstrators
gathered on Moscow's Old Square,
outside a government office build-
ing. Their demands included more
investment in agriculture, higher
farm prices, lower taxes and greater
redistribution of land.
Farmers "have finally lost pa-
tience," protester V.P. Pantykin told
Commonwealth Television. "The
government has promised us a lot,
and it still keeps making promises,
but the result is zilch."
Controlling the deficit could sta-
bilize the ruble and help qualify
Russia for sorely needed foreign
loans.
The currency held its own against

the dollar in heavy trading yesterday
on the Moscow Foreign Currency
Exchange. The Russian currency
weakened slightly to 204 rubles to
the dollar versus 203 rubles per dol-
lar last Thursday, the ITAR-Tass
news agency reported.
The ruble's stabilization reflected
a leveling of the inflation rate, ac-
cording to unidentified experts
quoted by ITAR-Tass.
The monthly inflation rate
dropped to about 7.1 percent in July,
government officials said.
Russian consumers received
moderately good news on the food
front, as a top official said the grain
harvest would be 103-104 million
tons, up from last year's 97 million
tons.
The estimate, by First Deputy
Agriculture Minister Mohammed
Tahir Abdulbasirov, was lower than
the prediction made last Friday by
Yeltsin of 121 million tons.
As much as 30 percent of the
grain harvest is being lost to ineffi-
cient transportation, processing and
storage, Abdulbasirov said in an in-
terview published by the newspaper
Sovietskaya Rossiya.

r - - - - -

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RUN ERRANDS
665-8182.
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ANNOUNCE ET
I... I

ANNJOUNCEMENTS
~ ***NEW COURSE***~

SHARON MUSHER/Daily

Prison Literacy
- and

Oh say can you see...
Two flags fly high over the Diag these days, with the stars and stripes
accompanied by a "University of Michigan -175 Years" flag. The flag is
being flown this year in honor of the U-M's 175th anniversary.

Adult Education
2 - 3 credits
For more info...
contact Jeanne Gray at
PROJECT COMMUNITY
Room 2205
The Michigan Union

U.N. admits former

,A .

***NEW COURSE*
The Elderly
and
Life Histories
2 - 3 credits
For more info...
contact Jeanne Gray at
PROJECT COMMUNITY
Room 2205
The Michigan Union
DISC (FRISBEE) GOLF CLUB SEEK
ING new members at any skill level. Ann Ar
bor Area has a new 18-hole golf course and
it's about time we put UM disc golf on th
map! Beginners encouraged to to check i
out. Pro tips avail. Call 434-1615 or meet on
Diag. Thur. 9/17 at 1:00 PM.

J

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e
it
in

Yugoslav r
UNITED NATIONS (AP)
The 47th General Assembly opened
yesterday facing new world disorder:
a power vacuum left by the end of
the Cold War, and famine, ethnic
tension and environmental threats.
With a full menu of 145 issues on
the assembly's plate, Yugoslavia
was to be the bitter appetizer. The
United States, European and Islamic
nations are pressing to suspend or
expell what remains of Yugoslavia
from the United Nations.
In its first act, the assembly en-
dorsed by acclamation Stoyan
Ganev, the foreign minister of
Bulgaria, as its new president.
Ganev is a symbol of the end of
the Cold War. He was named last
November to the first Bulgarian
government since 1944 without
Communists or Socialists.
Next Tuesday, Foreign Minister
Celso Lafer of Brazil begins a pa-
rade of about 40 world leaders

'epublcs
speaking before the assembly.
Brazil's president traditionally
makes the first speech, but Fernando
Collor canceled last week because
he is preparing to defend himself on
corruption charges and faces
impeachment.
During the session, which lasts
until mid-December, the General'
Assembly is expected to consider the
establishment of a revolving fund for
peacekeeping, famine in Somalia
and other African countries, and
payments to a fund to protect the
environment.
The United States wants
Yugoslavia expelled outright from.
the United Nations, but might settle
for suspension as a compromise,
diplomats said. Muslim countries
also favored expulsion.
Russia opposed suspending
Yugoslavia, saying isolation wdutd
hamper communications leading to
peace in the Balkans.

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