Friday, June 17, 2005

A nice summary of the economic and political situation in Ukraine in the Economist - The Viktor and Yulia Show:

[...] Parliamentary elections next March are exacerbating tendencies to populism. Under a reform agreed last December, some powers are due to shift from president to parliament and prime minister, though this change may yet be repudiated. After the elections, will the president and—if she is still in office—Ms Timoshenko learn from their mistakes and vindicate the orange revolution? Both remain popular. And Ukrainians have learnt to be patient. But Mr Yushchenko must be steelier if he is to overcome the corrupt, fractious pathologies of Ukrainian politics.

Ha. Last year, they all thought we were patient, too. Then it turned out we'd somehow learned to be impatient. Look where they are now: their wealth, of course, hasn't diminished to become comparable to ours, but they aren't getting richer, either. The other guys are.

If certain things continue to develop as they do now, I'll probably vote against all next year (unless they again manage to invent an alternative as hideous and promising as Yanukovych was last year).


An amusing part of the Economist piece is that first they report that "[t]he new government's critics, unlike the old one's, happily give their names to journalists," and then they go on quoting three of those "critics" anonymously:

[...] When asked if the new regime is as corrupt as the old, one Donetsk businessman says: “not yet, but it will be soon.”


There have been sins of commission too, especially on economic policy. “They've been screwing up,” comments one western diplomat in Kiev.


And Mr Yushchenko should not be blamed for some of Ukraine's most intractable problems. The biggest, as in most post-Soviet countries, is corruption. Some businessmen say things are improving, albeit confusingly. “Six months ago I knew who, when, how much,” says one Russian visitor to Donetsk. “Now I don't.” [...]

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