Russia » Politics
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Retirees demand Russian government should step down

It is not ruled out that the law about welfare benefit cutoffs will most likely be amended

The shameful start of the reform to eliminate the system of state benefits in Russia aggravated the social tension across the nation. Massive actions of protest take place in many regions of the country. The government tries to take urgent measures to improve the situation, but it seems that it has already gone out of control. It goes without saying that no one wishes to claim responsibility for what is currently happening in Russia nationwide. Officials, therefore, have chosen the blame-shifting technique. Governors are blaming the government, while ministers are blaming governors. Governmental officials say that governors are inappropriately using the funds that were assigned for the reform.

It is not ruled out that the law about welfare benefit cutoffs will most likely be amended, vice speaker of the Russian State Duma Lubov Sliska told reporters on Friday. Deputies discussed the current situation with the elimination of Soviet-era benefits in the Duma yesterday.

”The law probably needs to be corrected,” said the vice speaker. “Deputies would like to listen to ministers' comments regarding these problems. The president was informed last year that the law was ready. However, retirees go out in the streets now, and it would be incorrect to give opponents a possibility to obtain political popularity from it,” Sliska said. According to the vice speaker, one should start negotiations to find a solution to the current situation.

Russian people, however, do not believe those, who they voted for. The Party of Pensioners in the city of Chelyabinsk, held a meeting of protest yesterday. About 300 retirees gathered in front of the office of the United Russia party in Chelyabinsk on Friday morning. Elderly people were demanding a fair law for veterans and pensioners. The people said that they strongly disagreed with the reform and imposed the responsibility for its failure on United Russia party. A special address was approved as a result of the meeting, in which it was particularly said that the Russian government should resign.

As far as United Russia's opponents are concerned, certain political parties loyal to the president did not leave the situation out of attention. Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of the Liberal and Democratic Party of Russia, has recently held a press conference called “Destabilization of the situation in the country in connection with the effect of the law about elimination of state benefits.” Dmitry Rogozin, the leader of the Rodina party, called his press conference as follows: “The law about welfare benefit cutoffs is in effect. The government should step down.”

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, particularly stated that he was ready to take power in his hands. A statement that LDPR released yesterday runs: “Lethal danger is coming over Russia. Central authorities are subjected to heavy pressure. Their possible disruption will not be the first occurrence of the kind in the history of the Fatherland. It will break up the nation, lead to chaos, loss of independence, not to mention possible victims and terrorist acts. We demand the tiresome president, who reminds Emperor Nikolas II prior to his abdication, should take a grip on his will and become aware of his role as the president of the great nation,” Utro.Ru reports.