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Vesti, January 24, 2003

Davos Fights for Trust

By Igor Deryugin

The World Economic Forum in Davos launched "Fight for Trust". That is the wording used to describe the topic of the present meeting. The world political and business elite perceives the situation around Iraq as the main threat to stability.

The main topic of Davos 2003 sounds quite surprising for the economic forum: where has the trust has gone? According to the results of a poll carried out in 47 countries in six continents, the trust of ordinary people in public institutions has fallen dangerously low. Politicians, economists and businessmen from all over the the world are thinking about ways to regain such trust.

National parliaments and large corporations enjoy the lowest trust all over the world. Russia and Poland in particular are little trusted. Trade unions, non-governmental organisations and the press have also lost the respect they used to enjoy.  'The world is changing rapidly. The old institutions are inadequate virtually everywhere. They are grasping at their old bureaucratic places, whether it is NATO, or OSCE, or the IMF, and it is obvious that the world has been shifting somewhere," says Chairman of the Presidium of the Council for Foreign and Defence Policy of the RF  Sergei Karaganov.

One of the topics discussed in Davos concerned the problem of security. The world has still not found clear answers to the new threats connected with sudden manifestations of terrorism. Russia is discussed only in relation to an expansion of  Europe. Barriers are becoming lower, but only for EU members - the old members and new applicants. For Russian citizens, however, visa barriers are being transformed into an insurmountable obstacle. The Russian participants at the Davos meeting spoke about this issue. "The Europeans have created enormous obstacles that prevent Russians from obtaining European visas in Moscow. Why? The answer would appear obvious. To protect themselves from the Russian mafia and Russian gangsters.  It is a clear answer, however we can state with conviction that  only normal people stand in queues to get their visas. Gangsters and mafia obtain their visas from unknown sources and destinations," noted the head of the YABLOKO faction of the State Duma Grigory Yavlinsky.

Davos also has its barriers. Police cordons are set today at the outskirts of the town.  That is how unwanted guests - anti-globalists - are met here. The police troops are strengthened by special army forces.

See also:

Press Release. January 23, 2003. Davos 2003. Schedule for Grigory Yavlinsky. "The Russian Issue."

Vesti, January 24, 2003

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