Ukrainian coal miners block the Lvov-Kovel highway



Striking Ukrainian coal miners block the road between Lvovand Kovel

By Oleg Tyshkevich

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Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

Highway traffic between Lvov and Kovel is paralyzed; the
road was blocked by striking coal miners who demand their salaries to be paid
and that the budget provide subsidies.

Several dozen trucks created a traffic jam on the outskirts
of the coal mining Chervonograd. The miners have announced a strike of
unlimited duration, and not a single coal mine of the Western region is working
(part of the miners went to Kiev to strike). The reason for the strike is the
Rada’s failure to include the promised state subsidies in the budget, according
to Oleg Turchin, the chairman of the Lvov regional coal miner labor union.
Local officials who came out to speak with the rebels [sic] can only wave their
hands since, after all, they are in no position to resolve the coal miners’
financial problems.

J.Hawk’s Comment: This is decentralization, Yatsenyuk’s way.
A while ago we wrote that Yatsenyuk sent his ministers to inform regional
governments of their newly acquired responsibilities—responsibilities that
hitherto belonged to the national government and which were financed through
the state budget. Transferring these fiscal obligations “off the books”, as it
were, by palming them off to the hapless local governments was one of the many
tricks the Yatsenyuk government used to close the numerous budget holes. The
coal miners, in the meantime, are wondering which government is going to pay
them, and when. While Ukraine’s industry is grinding to a halt because of a
shortage of domestic coal and the unaffordability of imported coal.

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