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Ukraine: Rada on lockdown during anti-austerity demo00:54

Ukraine: Rada on lockdown during anti-austerity demo

Ukraine, Kiev
December 23, 2014 at 02:29 GMT +00:00 · Published

A heavy police presence guarded the Verkhovna Rada parliament building in Kiev, Tuesday, as thousands of protesters gathered outside to protest the austerity measures taken by Arseniy Yatsenyuk's government. The new plans were dictated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and international creditors as Kiev grows ever more reliant on Western lenders.

Up to 2,000 protesters turned out to demand that the government not cut social benefits or abolish subsidies and price controls on utility rates. Under the IMF request, the state budget is to be reduced by 10 percent and mass privatisation is to take place across the economy, with gas prices expected to rise three-fold.

Students also came out to protest against a 20-percent drop in education spending, the abolition of scholarships, a hike in tuition fees and the closure of approximately 400 schools in rural areas.

According to Prime Minister Yatsenyuk and the EU, Ukraine has already received $9 billion (€7.35 billion) in financial aid from the IMF, the World Bank and other financial institutions, but needs another $15 billion (€12.3 billion) next year.

Ukraine: Rada on lockdown during anti-austerity demo00:54
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Description

A heavy police presence guarded the Verkhovna Rada parliament building in Kiev, Tuesday, as thousands of protesters gathered outside to protest the austerity measures taken by Arseniy Yatsenyuk's government. The new plans were dictated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and international creditors as Kiev grows ever more reliant on Western lenders.

Up to 2,000 protesters turned out to demand that the government not cut social benefits or abolish subsidies and price controls on utility rates. Under the IMF request, the state budget is to be reduced by 10 percent and mass privatisation is to take place across the economy, with gas prices expected to rise three-fold.

Students also came out to protest against a 20-percent drop in education spending, the abolition of scholarships, a hike in tuition fees and the closure of approximately 400 schools in rural areas.

According to Prime Minister Yatsenyuk and the EU, Ukraine has already received $9 billion (€7.35 billion) in financial aid from the IMF, the World Bank and other financial institutions, but needs another $15 billion (€12.3 billion) next year.

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