For the first time Ukraine is experiencing such a devastating crisis

Author : Olexandr Honcharov

Source : 112 Ukraine

Mikheil Saakashvili and his team would easily take advantage of the acute feelings of ordinary people to raise his rating
13:48, 18 October 2017

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Yes, we must honestly admit: the main tragedy and the main shame of modern Ukraine is that hundreds of thousands or even millions of ordinary people live very poor. To be frank, it is poverty, not poorness. Millions of Ukrainians across the country are forced to literally fight for their survival. This is the indicator of health (more precisely, of ill health) of the Ukrainian economy. And you cannot hide it behind any figures of the country's GDP growth voiced by the Cabinet. The ratings of political leaders uncontrollably decrease because of people’s discontent with socio-economic reforms. Moreover, the authorities that personify the "new" statehood look detached from Ukrainian society. And the more significant this gap between these or those authorities grows, the faster the confidence and support falls.

Related: UN: 60 percent of Ukraine’s population below poverty line

Therefore, we might only be happy for our “patriots,” because being a rich people's deputy is something admirable! It is no accident that the parliament has already registered a draft resolution of the parliamentary committee on the regulations and organization of the work of the Verkhovna Rada. If it is accepted, then the salaries of people's representatives will grow almost 2 times - from the current 655 USD per month (for ordinary parliamentarians) to 1155 USD. Since October 1 this year. The project was registered on October 5, 2017. The proposal is to establish the size of the salaries of people's deputies at the level of the official salaries of ministers, based on the subsistence level as of January 1, 2017 – 558 USD, and the budget committee determined the allowances in the amount established for the members of the Cabinet.

Related: Ukraine's vicious circle of dodging taxes

Why isn’t it applied to ordinary Ukrainians? I think that many of us have recently heard that the current situation reminds us of the freewheeling 1990s in Ukraine. As for me, for the first time in its history Ukraine is experiencing such a devastating crisis. Remember, until the mid-90's, almost all of us were extremely poor. However, we did not have such a huge public debt then, did not conduct anti-terrorist operation in the east, finally, there was not such a huge gap between the poor and the rich. And our officials did not know how to collect tribute from our poorly educated population. And in the "fat and plenteous" zero years, a caste of corrupt officials was formed in Ukraine. But only a year ago, we learned about the actual size of their "golden holdings" (thanks to Western pressure). So now what?

Does anyone else believe that EU and US officials will save Ukrainian colleagues from the protests of the local population? Therefore, it is time for our officials to use beam and cope with their problems on their own. In fact, up to 70% of problems are internal, starting from the protection of private property rights and so on.

Related: Ukraine's "church mice:" property declarations of the security forces

Of course, it is easiest for politicians to put a blame on someone else, on an external threat, some even suggest not to deal with internal problems, since there is an external threat. Our expenditures on armaments and military-industrial complex are today one of the main ways to support economic growth in Ukraine. But if only the authorities did not fall into the trap and make mistakes of the Soviet Union, when the tanks rusted in Africa, and Soviet women could not afford to buy pantyhose. And what kind of capitalism do we have in Ukraine now if our salaries and pensions are paid not for work, but for positions and titles.

Related: Top-10 countries you did not expect to outrank Ukraine

It would be good for our political leaders to study not only the American, but also the Georgian experience, as well as the harsh actions of the West on the inaction of weak power. United States Agency for International Development (USAID) called the changes in the business climate in Georgia with Mikheil Saakashvili "the most extensive and rapid reforms conducted in any country in the world in the last 50 years."

Therefore, the entire radical breakdown of Georgian society and economy can be reduced to three areas. First – transformation in the state administration with a sharp decline in the role of bureaucracy. Second – denationalization of the economy, its liberalization, and large-scale privatization. Third is a decisive change in the old bureaucracy and reliance on young cadres. The latter factor has become a key element in the success of the Georgian reforms. Then the authorities realized that it would not be possible to carry out cardinal and profound reforms with the old bureaucratic apparatus.

Related: Tender kings and their corruption schemes

Ukraine has already understood this too. It became clear that the ministers and people's deputies do not even distinguish the investment from the loan. So what should we do? First of all, the authorities need to start working and consult with entrepreneurs who have a reliable reputation, as it was in the wild 1990s. This will be a very powerful positive signal for business, including for foreign investors. This will also be a positive signal for international competitors and effective fight against corruption.

In the meantime, Ukraine is very close to a period, when the rich will have to share with the poor. And most likely, everything will be decided for a couple of months: who will lead the country – adventurous opposition or weak power?

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