August 1st, 2011
Turkmenistan’s Supreme Court has sentenced three central bank officials for bribery at the end of a Niyazov-style open trial, unprecedented under current president Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov. State television showed the open trial last Friday.
Berdymukhammedov predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov, who enjoyed a bizarre personality cult during his 21-year rule until he died suddenly of a heart attack in December 2006, had routinely held show trials of top officials to demonstrate his attempts to root out corruption. Read the rest of this entry »
July 11th, 2011
Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada has approved an unpopular pension reform bill set as a key requirement to unlock a US$15.6 billion aid package from the International Monetary Fund to the Ukrainian economy.
The bill, approved early Friday, is designed to overhaul Ukraine’s Soviet-era pension system as the government seeks to slash spending in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis.
Ukraine’s parliament approved a government bill on pension reform at first reading on June 16. Read the rest of this entry »
February 9th, 2011
A new Latvian law that provides residency rights to foreign investors has provided a boost to the real estate market and nationalist sentiment alike, the BBC reported.
The new amendment to the Latvian Law on Immigration came into force in July, 1, and allows foreign investors and their family members including those from non-EU countries to receive a 5-year residence permit in Latvia along with the right to travel in the Schengen area freely, if they purchase Latvian property of at least 70,000 euros (US$95,000) in value, or invest in a business. Read the rest of this entry »
January 18th, 2011
Kazakhstan’s long-serving president Nursultan Nazarbayev on Monday asked a constitution council to examine a proposed referendum on another decade of unchallenged rule, which would allow him to bypass two elections and lead the country unopposed until 2020.
On December 27, the Central Election Commission registered a statement by the initiative group in favor of such a plebiscite, which was endorsed by both houses of parliament. In their letter to Nazarbayev, the legislators asked him “to support the initiative to call a national referendum on the following question: Do you accept the law on Amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan, envisaging the possibility of extending in a national referendum the powers of the first president of Kazakhstan?” Read the rest of this entry »
January 13th, 2011
Ukraine hopes to gain from privatization of US$1.3 billion in 2011 by selling at least 25 percent in 162 enterprises this year, Interfax reports.
The draft list of enterprises includes stakes that have been offered multiple times in the past but never sold.
“We continue to campaign, that the electricity should go for privatization. And it will be privatized. This will be the main event of the privatization of the year,” Alexander Ryabchenko, Ukrainian State Property Fund (SPF) chairman said earlier in December 2010. Read the rest of this entry »
December 2nd, 2010
A new version of the tax code will be presented to the Ukrainian Parliament by Thursday after President Viktor Yanukovych has exercised his right of veto the bill, caving in to the largest opposition protest since his election in February.
The new version will be drafted by the president’s office and the government together with representatives of small businesses. Read the rest of this entry »
March 31st, 2010
The Kazakhstani State Office of Public Prosecutors (SOPP) and The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (MEDT) declared, that by 2011 the business community of the country will be divided into two types: those who are counted by the state as law-abiding, and those who are not. The second type of businesses need to be ever ready to be inspected any time, while the first kind has been promised to be left in relative peace.
Addressing the issue at a public event titled “Legality and Transparency of the State Control as a Basis of Consumer Rights Protection,” the authorities didn’t point out what criteria they are going to use to judge businesses and “to die-cast them as wolves or innocent sheep.” Read the rest of this entry »
March 23rd, 2010
Beginning this year, Russia is altering a prison system that dates back of 70 years to the time of Stalin, separating for the first time career criminals from the general prison population.
As the New York Times reports, currently, “the inmates are divided into barracks housing a hundred or so men without regard to the severity of their crimes. At night, a guard locks the door and walks away, leaving first-time offenders and people convicted of nonviolent crimes to fend for themselves in a crowd of gang members, hit men and other career criminals.” Read the rest of this entry »