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The meeting of the Democratic Assembly will focus on housing and communal sector reform and the problem of cooperation between the democratic forces at the elections of 2003-2004

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Another meeting of the All-Russia Democratic Assembly will be held in Moscow on October 21, 2002. The discussion will focus on the two following topics:

  • housing and communal sector reform,
  • development of a common political platform and tactics regarding the cooperation of the democratic forces at the election campaigns in 2003-2004.

The meeting has to adopt a declaration on the present situation in the housing and communal services sector of Russi , which should also contain the position of the Democratic Assembly on reforming the sector.

The Democratic Assembly is a permanent forum of democratic political and public organisations: it was created in 2001 to discuss and develop a coordinated position of democratic forces on the key issues in the country

"In a situation where the government's housing and communal service reforms in Russia may deprive 30% of the country’s population of their housing, the discussion of this problem becomes politically important," says Deputy Head of the YABLOKO party and deputy of the State Duma Sergei Mitrokhin.

"Implementation of government's projects in their current form will affect the population which can be compared only with the "shock therapy" of 1992 and may trigger social destabilization in Russia,"added Mitrokhin.

According to YABLOKO, the key problem of the reform concerns the correlation between fiscal and structural components. Structural transformations should occur prior to changes to tariffs for housing and communal services. However, the steps undertaken by the government at present have been reduced to a reduction in state financing for this sector. The state's current reform programme envisages structural transformations, but does not stipulate specific deadlines for their implementation and consequently reform is being replaced by unjustified tariff increases.

YABLOKO plans to ask the All-Russia Democratic Assembly to initiate a proposal for establishing a moratorium on increases in rent for housing. The moratorium can only be revoked, after a comprehensive set of measures have been implemented to normalise the situation on the housing and communal services market:

  • establishment of transparent tariffs for the services of natural monopolies at all levels,
  • establishment of legal norms on the mutual liabilities of suppliers and consumers for housing and communal services,
  • clearance of the state debt before enterprises of the housing and communal services sector and elimination of attempts to place this burden on the population.

YABLOKO also opposes privatization of enterprises of the housing and communal services sector, until there is real competition on this market, as otherwise local monopolies will abruptly increase these services.

The Democratic Assembly will consider alternative projects for housing and communal services reform. The Union of Right-Wing Forces (SPS) party will submit one of these projects.

See also:
Democratic Coalition

Housing and Communal Reform

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