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Epidemic and quarantine – are themselves quite significant challenges to the integrity of the country. This is due to the spread of the epidemic, which requires the sanitary lines within the country and threats of a purely economic nature, reducing the connectivity of the territoriesThe Ukrainian government, traditionally being in the position between centralization and decentralization, solved the dilemma in the traditional vein.
11-18 March, was adopted a number of decisions which strengthened decentralization, and it is at the regional level.
The logic of these decisions were completely transparent, because the spread of the epidemic across regions unevenly. The most vulnerable are those regions where a larger number of workers (all of a sudden we learned that there are leaders in Chernivtsi and Zhytomyr region, not Galicia and Transcarpathia), and of course Kiev as the main gateway of the country.
The decision, which violated the integrity of our, the whole head is a unitary, countries were the following:
— cessation of interregional transport;
— the possibility of introducing additional measures for the introduction of quarantine in the settlements (on the way there are checkpoints around some of the villages of Chernivtsi oblast and the regional center);
— the possibility of introducing a state of emergency in some regions (it is entered by the Cabinet, but, of course, at the initiative of local authorities).
Interesting point — it seems that the current government is absolutely not even trying to portray preparation to repel a possible full-scale aggression from Russia. They could have said that Putin will not attack because he is afraid of infecting his troops coronavirus… Or not — sounds like it is in Ukraine, more morbidity, and not bordering with China, Russia (by the way, this is true, but can not speak). In General, all is lost.
Anyway, but the measures taken do reduce the degree of centralization of the country, and this in Kiev, I’m afraid, regardless of the incumbent President and the volume of the mantras of the “European decentralization”.
Therefore, March 16 Vladimir Zelensky held a “meet the oligarchs”, and on March 17, some of the ideas of this meeting were implemented at the legislative level.
Key decisions aimed at overcoming centrifugal tendencies, was two.
First, the state in compensation for the loss of business was removed from enterprises a tax on land.
Note that this tax is paid only for large enterprises — the notorious small and medium businesses (namely, it suffers most from the quarantine) takes too little land. Thus, it is a reckoning with the oligarchs who own companies, for the financial assistance they will provide to the country. That is to say, the charity for cashless payments.
But the main thing here not that, and the fact that the land tax is the main source of income of local budgets. A number of mayors have already made a fairly tough statement for this reason — because of a change in the tax base, not only do they have no means to take any measures against the epidemic, but not enough (if enough) only on public sector wages. Thus, local budgets are critically dependent on Central funding.
So here Zelensky one stone killed two birds with one stone.
Second, the oligarchs gained control of the regions.
Lyrical digression. All by itself the meeting was quite strange. For example, among the conventional oligarchs turned out to be Andrey Stavnitser — man, definitely influential but not part of the hundred richest Ukrainians Ihor Palytsia, who was previously a top Manager Kolomoisky, and now Akhmetov. But unconditional oligarch Oleg Bakhmatyuk did not exist. He, however, is wanted, but to hide from the investigation in the company of the President is quite comfortable (we have seen a situation where a known thug and police searching for his chin was in the same company). However, his interests were also taken into account — the next day the Minister was his top Manager, makes those schemes for which Bakhmatyuk is wanted.
Here it should be noted that the oligarchs in decentralization or even federalization, is not interested. They have interests in different regions of the country, and it is interesting that they all had common rules and act of the agreement concluded in Kiev.
For example, Igor Kolomoisky got “in control” of the Zaporizhia region, but its assets are also located in the Dnipropetrovsk and Ivano-Frankivsk regions, and his interests also extend to Kharkiv, Odesa, Donetsk and Sumy oblast. When in 2014, Kolomoisky has performed for the actual federalization, he meant the minimizing of influence of Kiev on these regions. Now his position firmly enough to demand anything.
Unlike the regional authorities, who have clear powers, the oligarchs are no legally enforceable duties do not have, therefore it is logical to assume that they will keep an eye on local authorities that they should not have lapsed into the heresy of federalism. It is in their interest, and it is in the interests Zelensky (on his vertical, he can not expect).
Here is the unity and struggle of decentralization and centralization.
However, the whole system of checks and balances may collapse as soon as the enterprise will rise, and money in the budget will not. Then the influence of the oligarchs will fall, and the local authorities will not be of any interest to focus on Kyiv. Where it leads — God knows. Obviously, decentralization will increase, but to what extent is difficult to predict.
While the probability of such developments is rather speculative, but there is nothing unreal about it. In March, for example, tax arrears is about one-third of the total volume, and the probability of default is very high. So that the stability of the financial system should not exaggerate. Source
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