Poroshenko: ‘People are not happy with all of us’
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko is not happy with the achievements of his year-long presidency. He says the country will stick to the Minsk II peace agreement and stay on the path of European Union integration, despite a possible “full-scale” invasion by Russia in the eastern Donbas. In his state of the nation address in Parliament on June 4, Poroshenko did not mention Russian-annexed Crimea. He said the country has only started doing its “tough homework” on costly and painful reforms. “Whether I’m satisfied with the work of the government? I’m not. Neither with my work nor the work of Parliament. But most importantly – the people are not happy with all of us,” he said
What troubles Poroshenko the most is corruption.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau has been established. Poroshenko on April 16 appointed ex-prosecutorial investigator Artem Sytnyk as its head. Now the agency has to hire personnel, and Poroshenko expects it to be fully operational by October.
Poroshenko asked Parliament to pass a witness protection law and another to allow plea-bargaining with the aim of getting bribe-takers to testify against those perpetuating bigger illegal schemes.
is deregulation by cancelling required certificates and licenses
“One of the main sources of corruption is now the state-owned enterprises,” Poroshenko added.
Most state-owned firms should be sold. “These factories and plants bring nothing to the budget, except for losses, with very few exceptions,” Poroshenko said. He noted that lawmakers have to define the rules for the sales as well as the list of enterprises to be sold.
“There are still 1,800 enterprises left. Not more than 200 of them are vital for the state,” Poroshenko said.
Using the word “oligarch” 11 times in his speech, Poroshenko again empha- sized the importance of reducing their influence on Ukraine as another step in fighting corruption.
“Private business should manage its own companies, but not graze in the state companies, nor feed on the budget flow,” he said. “Yes, authorities need to be engaged in dialogue with the large-scale businesses, because they provide jobs. But business can’t talk to the state in the language of ultimatums.”
This process can be successful only with busting up monopolies, Poroshenko said, adding that Ukraine’s current losses from “cartel agreements” range from 10 to 22 percent of gross domestic product. “About 40 percent of goods and services are being sold on monopolized markets,” he said.
Another way to decrease the clout of business moguls is to have the state finance political parties.
Poroshenko marked real progress in fighting corruption in state procurement.
“Kickbacks have decreased, many schemes were closed, transparency has increased, and social control has become more solid,” he said.
He said the Defense Ministry and Ukroboronprom, the state arms exporter, provide the most effective electronic procurements, which helped save more than Hr 130 million.
Poroshenko said the poor need to receive subsidies before the winter season to help them cope with