Friday, December 26, 2008

Expected Gift. The Parliament of Ukraine made a Christmas present to Yulia Tymoshenko, sending the project of budget back to her office.

Verkhovna Rada failed to pass the 2009 budget on Thursday, December 25. Most of the Members of Parliament decided that the project of budget is not realistic, in particular, because of its extra-optimistic economic forecasts. The budget, presented by the Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko on Tuesday, 23 December, supposes that the inflation will stay in frames of 9,5%, hryvnia rate to US dollar will be not more than 7-7,5, and the GDP will grow to 0,4%.

The result of the vote has demonstrated the absence of the real coalition of majority in Ukrainian Parliament. The budget was supported by all MPs of the Block of Yulia Tymoshenko and the Block of Lytvyn, and also by 44 MPs from the ex-president’s faction Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defense. But the faction of the Communist party (who is not a Coalition member) was not in favor, and the vote failed.

Parliament will hold the sitting today, on Friday 26 December (starting at 10 AM), and will come back to the budget question – and will face problems again. Even non-economist may see that there are problems with a revenue side of the budget, and with the macroeconomic forecast (as was said). Also as Ukraine still hasn’t signed an agreement with Russia on gas supply, and nobody knows the price of gas for 2009, all the economic planning that was made is very approximate.

Some sources in Verkhovna Rada suppose that the budget 2009 will not be adopted before the New Year.

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