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Tatar-Bashkir Daily Report -- 2 January 2004

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  • Uli Schamiloglu
    This article below appears on the web site of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) http://www.rferl.org and has been sent to you by Uli Schamiloglu.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2004
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      This article below appears on the web site of Radio Free Europe/
      Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) http://www.rferl.org and has been sent
      to you by Uli Schamiloglu.

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      Tatar-Bashkir Daily Report

      www.azatliq.org

      RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Service

      Tatar-Bashkir Report Archive

      2 January 2004

      DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTAN

      Shaimiev Praises Tatarstan's Achievements In 2003

      Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev said in his New Year
      television address to the people of Tatarstan on 31
      December 2003 that his republic had "managed to achieve
      most of its goals" by ensuring the growth of monetary
      incomes per capita "despite the inflation and general
      growth of prices." Among the year's achievements Shaimiev
      highlighted stable oil and petrochemical production, the
      growing output at the KamAZ automotive concern,
      Tatarstan's high level of agricultural production, as
      well as the ongoing preparations for the 200th
      anniversary of Kazan State University in 2004 and Kazan's
      millennium celebrations in 2005. He added that the
      December elections for the Russian State Duma revealed
      that voters had enormous trust in the government, but at
      the same time unveiled a number of problems that need
      urgent resolution. Shaimiev said that these problems
      included low incomes, a lack of security, and drug
      addiction.

      Prime Minister Outlines Tatarstan's Economic Agenda For
      2004

      Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov told reporters on 31
      December 2003 that in 2004 his government would
      concentrate on optimizing budget expenses, which does not
      mean abolishing state institutions, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau
      reported today. Budget-funded organizations, such as
      hospitals and kindergartens, will be required to offer
      services for fees, up to the total value of 6 billion
      rubles ($205 million), twice as much as 2003. Under
      republican regulations, half of the extra profits will be
      used for increasing employee salaries. Currently, most of
      Tatarstan's state enterprises earn extra income by
      renting unused production premises for low prices, a
      situation, which in Minnikhanov's opinion, "has to be
      changed." Every year, more than 50 percent of Tatarstan's
      budget is used for social-security programs.

      Free Housing Program To Be Completed In 2004

      Telget Abdullin, executive director of the state housing
      fund, told reporters on 30 December that in order to
      accomplish its housing renovation program in 2004, the
      fund will need 4 billion rubles ($137 million) instead of
      the planned 3 billion rubles in 2004, RFE/RL's Kazan
      bureau reported the next day. The program -- sponsored by
      the Tatneft oil company, Tuben Kama Petrochemical
      Company, Tatenergo, the KamAZ automotive concern, and
      Tuben Kama Tires Company -- began in 1996 and has given
      free apartments to 42,000 families in Tatarstan. Another
      7,000 apartments are to be distributed by late 2004.

      Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

      DAILY REVIEW FROM BASHKORTOSTAN

      Civic Groups Form Union To Promote Tatar Language

      A meeting of a union of Bashkortostan's Tatar civic
      groups was held on 27 December in Ufa, an RFE/RL Ufa
      correspondent reported on 29 December. Ramil Bignov,
      Tatarstan's economic and trade representative to
      Bashkortostan, who chaired the meeting, said there are
      problems with bilateral relations between Tatarstan and
      Bashkortostan and hoped that relations between Tatar
      President Mintimer Shaimiev and Bashkir President Murtaza
      Rakhimov will improve. Bignov said Rakhimov's statement
      following the first round of presidential elections about
      raising the status of the Tatar language in Bashkortostan
      gave Tatar groups an impulse to unite. Participants at
      the meeting discussed the union's charter. The body aims
      to help the republic's Tatars develop their culture,
      develop a mechanism for conducting a dialogue between
      state bodies and citizens, and promote the rights and
      freedoms of the republic's residents. In an statement to
      the Bashkir president, Tatar public leaders said that
      Rakhimov's promise to raise the status of Tatar
      influenced the second round of presidential elections on
      21 December, which Rakhimov won with 78 percent of the
      vote. They said that giving Tatar the same state-language
      status as Bashkir or Russian would contribute to
      preventing interethnic conflict in the republic. It was
      also pointed out that the issue of the status of the
      Tatar language is to be resolved before the 14 March
      Russian presidential elections. More than 10 Tatar
      organizations in Bashkortostan are members of the union.

      Rakhimov's Inauguration Closed For Reporters

      Journalists were not allowed to attend President
      Rakhimov's inauguration on 29 December, an RFE/RL Ufa
      correspondent reported the next day. The presidential
      press service provided no explanation for the measure.
      Rakhimov took an oath before federal politicians in
      attendance at the inauguration. Rakhimov swore "to serve
      Bashkortostan's multinational people, to strengthen
      Bashkortostan's statehood, to observe strongly the
      Russian Constitution and the Bashkir Constitution, to
      guarantee the rights and freedoms of citizens, [and] to
      perform honestly the duties of Bashkortostan's
      president."

      Rakhimov Says Campaign Techniques Used Against Him Are
      Dangerous For

      During his inauguration speech, President Rakhimov said
      that dirty campaigning against him was seen on an
      unprecedented scale in the recent presidential election
      campaign. Rakhimov said that he was reminded of the
      Nazis' Blitzkrieg tactics during World War II. An attempt
      was made to nullify the republic's achievements, the
      president said, adding that "some [federal] mass media,
      including several TV channels, and even some federal
      officials took part in this cynical campaign run by
      oligarchs." Rakhimov added that this type of campaigning
      presents a threat not only for Bashkortostan but for all
      of Russia.

      Shaimiev Says Friendly Relations With Bashkortostan
      Inevitable

      Visiting Ufa on 29 December, Tatar President Shaimiev
      said it is impossible for Tatarstan to develop without
      close relations with Bashkortostan in both the political
      and economic sectors. "Our history and fate is together
      and we are wise enough to take into account the interests
      of our brotherly peoples," Shaimiev said.

      Presidential Staffer Says Bashkir Media 'Mild'

      Presidential administration official Emir Yuldashbaev
      told RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service on 30 December that
      the "mildness" of the republic's mass media was among the
      mistakes of Rakhimov's presidential campaign. "The
      economic and political situation and interethnic
      relations are so calm, stable, and positive in
      Bashkortostan, when compared to Russia's other regions,
      that journalists are in the habit of a serene life,"
      Yuldashbaev said. He compared "oligarchs" who took part
      in the elections to thieves who open doors with master
      keys.

      Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

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      Uli Schamiloglu
      Professor of Turkic & Central Eurasian Studies
      Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia
      1254 Van Hise, 1220 Linden Drive
      Madison, WI 53706 USA
      tel. 1-608-262-7141 (office), 1-608-262-3012 (department), 1-608-265-3538 (fax)
      Email: uschamil@...
      LCA website: <http://lca.wisc.edu/>lca.wisc.edu
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