LETTER TO THE EDITOR RE: "BETRAYING THE REVOLUTION"
From Lidia Wolanskyj, Ukraine
Re: "Betraying A Revolution" Op-Ed by Anders Aslund, The Washington Post, Wednesday, May 18, 2005
While I generally appreciate and respect his views, I think Mr. Aslund's claims are a little wild in this article, and it's disappointing to see such a reputed professional write like this.
Ukraine's economy began to slow sharply last August and September, when Mr. Yanukovych suddenly increased pensions and began to deplete the Budget and stimulate high inflation. Meat has not disappeared off any shelves to the best of my knowledge, at least not in western Ukraine where it is now mostly well below the Hr 20 mark per kilo. As to businesses shutting down, that also does not appear to be true.
Yes, some companies scrambled to re-organize themselves in anticipation of a higher tax burden, but most of them are still functioning. Other tax changes that were potentially nasty, such as freelancers paying full payroll taxes rather than a flat tax after more than 30 days of working for an organization, are still under development and have not been instituted.
There is supposed to be a large conference with SMEs shortly to work out a better approach precisely to this issue. Ms. Tymoshenko is doing a lot of strange things, but it makes no sense to exaggerate the fallout at this time.
Sincerely, Lidia Wolanskyj Journalist; Founder, The Eastern Economist