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We live in a time of fundamental break

08 February, 00:00

February is likely to be a turning point in the privatization process. A knowledgeable source told The Day that the Cabinet is slated to hold a brief closed-door session in the next few days to raise the question of dismissing Oleksandr Bondar, chairman of the State Property Fund. According to the source, the ostensible reason for this small “coup” will be “dismay” over the SPU in January falling short of planned targets in privatization earnings (about UAH 150 million). In reality, the source claims, dissatisfaction with Mr. Bondar has been caused by the fact that “life has changed, and last year’s rules of the game, as well as the people who became owners last year, are no longer important.” Moreover, with the advent of a new government, especially after the presidential campaign, life has changed so much that many lobbyists for foreign (including Russian) companies are ready to come out of the dark and work “in broad daylight” to fight for legitimate control over the main lever of state property redistribution. In plain language, a new redistribution of property looms ahead. Yesterday the source confirmed to The Day information that Deputy Premier Yuliya Tymoshenko is so dissatisfied with privatization in the energy industry that she is trying everything possible to rectify the situation, lobbying for the appointment of People’s Deputy Oleksandr Turchynov as SPF chairman (incidentally, he is expected to become today chairman of the parliamentary budget committee). At the same time, chairman of the Verkhovna Rada ad hoc supervisory commission for privatization, Oleksandr Riabchenko, confirmed to The Day the report that the Greens had suggested in a letter to Premier Viktor Yushchenko that he (Riabchenko) be appointed SPF chairman. Answering the question, “Do you really need it?” Mr. Riabchenko said, “And why not?”


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