KIEV, Ukraine – The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine abolished licensing for importing and exporting ethyl alcohol, cognac, and fruit, ethyl rectified grape and fruit, alcoholic beverages and tobacco products. The decision was made at a government meeting on Wednesday, July 24, followed by coordination with Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Klimpush-Tsintsadze.
The explanatory note states that the law “On Amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine and other legislation to improve the administration and revision of the rates of certain taxes and fees” dated November 23, 2018 provides that the import and export of ethyl alcohol, cognac, ethyl alcohol rectified fruit, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products can be carried out by business entities of all forms of ownership without a license.
While Ukraine is carrying out alcohol and tobacco deregulation, the International Monetary Fund is “advising” and “consulting” Ukraine on the pressing matters of its demographic disaster.
According to the IMF, by 2050, Ukraine will lose more than a third of its workforce, as the country’s population is aging and shrinking. The data is demonstrated by an extensive study conducted by the International Monetary Fund.
By 2030, Ukraine will lose about 15% of the workforce, and by 2050 the reduction will reach 30%. Of all the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the situation is worse only in Latvia and Bulgaria. The population of Ukraine is steadily declining, young people are moving abroad, the birth rate is too low to cover these losses and thus, the average age of Ukrainians is constantly growing.
The IMF “advises Ukraine to seek ways to attract men over 55 years old and women over 35 to more actively seek employment, to raise the retirement age” and to top it all, “cut financing on the state medical and retirement funds.”
It is unclear how these “reforms” would help the populace, though. Cutting on the state medical funding would be catastrophic, especially considering the fact that Ukraine’s public health sector has been collapsing for the last 28 years, with worst downward spike happening since the 2014 Western-backed coup.
To make matters worse, raising the retirement age and cutting on the state retirement funding would put even more pressure on the population and result in increased emigration. According to statistics provided by the United Nations, two people leave Ukraine every minute.