February 1 the private entrepreneurs of Soligorsk (Minsk region) declared an unlimited strike. Reason for their striking became the serious deterioration of their labor conditions. In particular, over the last year the size of one commercial place rent increased by 5,2 times. Controlling bodies execute constant inspections. The businessmen consider the recent order of the State Customs Committee (on levying taxes on goods imported from third states from Russia) as a major infringement on their rights. Moreover, they fear that the authorities may sign the decree on the patent system, which will result in greater damages to the businessmen.
State salary indebtedness before the budget workers of Brest region constituted 1bln.244mln. rubles. Under official protocol, 36,3 mln. of debt must go to 12 basic industrial enterprises. 950 million rubles will cover the indebtedness before 160 collective farms and husbandries of the region. The Brest region still suffers from the lowest level of income - in December the average salary here equaled to 55USD. The greatest income is enjoyed by the bankers - 125USD, while the lowest - by the state farmers - 30USD.
Emergency session of the Grodno regional council took place this morning at 8 o`clock due to the sudden death of the head of the local executive Alexander Dubko. A 63-year old chief of the region`s administration died from a heart attack in his house on Sunday night. The ambulance, which arrived at his home too late, concluded that the man couldn`t be helped.
Supreme Soviet deputy, political prisoner Vladimir Kudinov will be set free after four years of jail. Between 9.30 a.m. and 3 p.m. the man is supposed to be released. His relatives, friends and journalists are already waiting for his appearance by the prison gates. The first interview to be given by former prisoner will be placed on our site right away.
The web-site of the Belarusian service of radio "Svaboda" changed its format last weekend. One of the oldest Belarusian on-line resources became more convenient for the users and the navigation is also way easier than before. However, they preserved all the archives of the past years of broadcasting. As usual, read the news spotlights of the day at www.svaboda.org
Host of a popular analytical TV program "Itogi" of the Russian independent channel NTV Evgeny Kiselev blamed the Belarusian TV channel for stealing their money. The statement was voiced February 4 on air:
Last year around 20 independent periodicals received warnings from the State Committee for Press for indicating wrong print runs. This was declared by the Committee`s head Mikhail Podgainy in his interview to the BT "Panorama", televised February 3 night. According to the information, supplied by Podgainy, the overall print run of state-run editions, including provincial ones, amounts to 2 million issues, whereas the independent ones enjoy an overall print run of around 500 thousand, which is five times less.
"The democratic forces face the task of naming their single candidate for the upcoming presidential election by early March at the latest," - noted Syamon Domash speaking before the Brest public February 3.
Lukashenko and his teammates won the relay race, which took place February 3 in Raubichi ski resort. The tournament was held as part of the annual "Minsk ski-track 2001" event. All in all, the race attracted 11 teams, representing the Cabinet, the National Assembly, the City Council and regional institutions. The silver was taken by the Minsk City Council skiers, the third - by the sportsmen of the Belarus State University. This year there were 1500 skiers running the course.
February 2 during the official visit to Belarus by the Foreign Minister of Iran Kamal Harrazi there took place an opening ceremony of the Iran`s official representation in Minsk. The embassy will occupy one of the prestigious cottages in a privileged district of Mozhaiskaya str. This fact is considered by the sides as a recognition of the great future of their bilateral relations. Belarusian FM Khvostov noted that the countriess may reach an annual trade turnover of $100 mln. For now, over the eleven months of the year 2000 it only constituted $20,7 mln. As a matter of fact, most of it is Belarusian export: radio-electronics, potassium fertilizers, synthetic fibers and motorbikes.
The Ministry of Economy ruled February 1 to increase the cost of electricity tariffs for the population. BelaPAN reports that the new prices will cover the original expenditures by 57% (the previous one covered it by only 47%).