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Putin Meets Federation Council Speaker - 25 March, 2003

Vladimir Putin has discussed urgent problems in the housing and communal sector and education with Federation Council speaker Sergei Mironov.

At the beginning of his meeting with Mironov, the president said that the upper chamber of parliament represented the regions and senators felt the situation in the country particularly acutely. In this connection, the head of state asked for the speaker's opinion on the most urgent problems facing the country.

Mironov said that there were two main problems in the country today. The first, according to him, is the housing and communal system. Mironov suggested that reforms were necessary in this sphere, but without any rates increases.

Mironov pointed to education as the second problem. The speaker said that there was a great problem staffing schools. He stressed that teachers' wages did not correspond to the contribution they make to raising people. Naturally, the speaker said, graduates from teacher training colleges do not go on to work in schools.

Vladimir Putin suggested that Sergei Mironov take part in a State Council working group that will examine the education system in the country.

The joint group of parliamentarians, the president stressed, will be useful when it comes to working out the correct decision.

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