All articles of the 2001 federal budget dealing with social security issues have been financed in full, said Russian vice premier Valentina Matviyenko at a Moscow press conference. According to her, 2001 saw positive dynamics of the population's living standard indices and the country's social development. Matviyenko noted that over the last two years the growth rate of the population's real income had exceeded that of the gross domestic product (GDP). Judging by this year's results, real income of the population is expected to grow by 10%, Matviyenko stated. She pointed out a stable tendency of wage increase. Wages have grown by 40% in the country. The deputy prime minister recalled that since December 2001 public sector workers' wages had increased by 20%. Matviyenko said 50 billion rubles had been allocated to this effect (1 USD is 30.20 rubles) in additional expenses. 180 billion rubles will be allocated from regional and local budgets.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.