Poroshenko: ‘Peo­ple are not happy with all of us’

Kyiv Post - - News - BY ALYONA ZHUK AND OLENA GONCHAROVA [email protected], [email protected]

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.

Fight­ing 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.

An­other anti-cor­rup­tion

step

is dereg­u­la­tion by can­celling re­quired cer­tifi­cates and li­censes

“One of the main sources of cor­rup­tion is now the state-owned en­ter­prises,” Poroshenko added.

Pri­va­ti­za­tion

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.

De-oli­garchiza­ton

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.

State pro­cure­ment

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.

Rates

Poroshenko said the poor need to re­ceive sub­si­dies be­fore the win­ter sea­son to help them cope with

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