Ukrainian Parliament Approves New Laws Required for IMF Bailout

News Brief — March 27, 2014

With Russia effectively elbowed out of the way, for now, the international bankers are already moving in and dictating the terms for Ukraine’s ‘bailout’. Just as they did in Iraq and Greece.
Once again history is repeating itself. Having undergone regime change in all but name and been ‘freed’ from its ties to Russia, Ukraine’s parliament on Thursday voted in favour of laws to comply with new austerity measures demanded by the International Monetary Fund.
In return the Ukraine will get a $14-18 billion bailout package. Or, to be more precise a loan with strings attached.
However, the Ukrainian parliament didn’t swallow the IMF measures without a struggle.
Earlier the country’s parliament failed to ratify the new austerity measures despite urgent appeals from the government, but later returned after a recess and approved them with a slim majority.
The IMF loan was subject to the approval of new austerity measures. Meaning Ukrainians could soon rue the day they broke with Russia and accepted the IMF loans
Although the new Ukrainian government has yet to spell out where exactly all the austerity measures will fall, they’ve already started with a rise in gas prices.
Explaining why his government had bowed to the IMF demands, Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said the country was effectively caught between a rock and a hard place.
“Ukraine is on the edge of economic and financial bankruptcy” told Ukraine’s parliament on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk opened the way for the IMF deal the same day when he announced a steep 50-percent rise in the price of domestic gas. The hike will come into effect from May 1 with the government promising to phase out remaining energy subsidies by 2016.
Further gas price rises could follow.
They will undoubtedly be deeply unpopular and could spark further protests. Nonetheless, describing his government as being on a “kamikazi” mission Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said the Ukraine had few other options.
Meanwhile the former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko has announced that she will be running in the country’s May 25 presidential election.
Despite the ongoing turmoil in Ukraine, Tymoshenko is not necessarily assured of victory however.
With jail on charges of abuse of office — which Tymoshenko and her supporters claim were politically motivated — behind her she’s still trailing the front-runners, chocolate baron Petro Poroshenko and former boxing champion Vitali Klitschko.

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