Kiev and Odessa: Protests against the ‘public utilities rates genocide’

07.07.2016, Ukraine.

The people of Kiev and other regions of Ukraine protested against the rising of prices of gas, central heating, electricity, water for end users on July 6th, Ukrainian media informed.

In Odessa, the Federation of Trade Unions of the region rallied near the building of the Odessa Regional State Administration. The main demand of the protesters was the reduction of the excessively high rates. According to the protesters, after the increase in the rates, the heating, and hot water will cost 2420 hryvnias (88 euros) for the usual two-room apartment, and the total bill for the public utilities will be 3100 hryvnias (113 euros). Since the minimum pension and salary are of 1130 hryvnias (41 euros) and 1450 hryvnias (53 euros) respectively, the state puts its citizens on the brink of survival. The rally in front of the building of the Odessa Regional State Administration lasted about an hour; no one came to the protesters.

In Kiev, around five thousand people marched along Grushevskogo Street to the building of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, where they protested against the increase of the rates for public utilities and demanded a pay reform as well as the raising of the minimum salary.

Another column of more than a thousand protesters with flags of the Federation of Trade Unions marched from Shevchenko Park along Vladimirskaya and Khmelnitskiy-Kreschatik Streets to Cabinet of Ministers.

The protesters blocked the traffic of vehicles on Grushevskogo Street.

The Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine, The Trade Union of Metallurgists and Miners, Confederation of Free Trade Unions, the Regional Trade Unions of the Scientists and Teachers, in particular from Kiev and Vinnitsa regions, participated in the protest. The meeting against the increase of the rates is ended for now.

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine is obliged to increase the rates for the public utilities up to the European prices by signing the Association Agreement with the European Union. According to the Cabinet of Ministers, another reason for the rates rising is the so-called ‘fight against corruption’. In addition to increasing the rates for public utilities, Ukrainian people have to cope with sharply increased prices for medicine and food. It should be noted that, on average, over the last two years, prices have risen by 200%, and social standards have risen only by 20%. The population has already given his definition of the actions of the Cabinet of Ministers by calling them ‘public utilities rates genocide.’ According to public opinion research conducted by Research & Branding Group (May 2016), 81% of Ukrainian citizens will not be able to pay the new bills for the public utilities.


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