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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Land Sale Ban Upheld; BYuT Helps Override Presidential Veto

Courtesy of BYuT, the Anticrisis Coalition has mounted a bullet-proof vest against Yushchenko’s veto-making chain gun.

Tymoshenko and Partners argues that the ban should not be lifted until the Rada works out an adequate legal framework that will protect the rights of would-be landowners.

The Yushchenko administration counters that inasmuch as the ban prolongs the absence of a free land market, it benefits the booming black market. More to the point, Mykhailo Brodsky, a former BYuT associate, asserts that proponents of the ban have gained strong inroads into the black market.

If Ukraine’s wealthiest political club, the PRU, clings to the ban with the intensity that generates sympathizers, there must be something special about it.

One way or the other, decollectivized Ukrainian farmers, whose lot in life could be compared to that of Native Americans, stand a great chance of being had. They make perfect candidates for guinea pigs in a project premised on the centuries-old principle that the fool and his money — or land, as is the case here — are soon parted. The trick for the powers that be, therefore, is to make sure fools remain in good supply.

There isn’t a damn thing they can do about it unless they beat plowshares into swords — swords of political awareness and self-organization. Unless Ukrainians run a total recall of the Kuchma voucher scam, they will be landless before they know it.

It gets even more interesting if we take stock of Article 13 of the Ukrainian Constitution. That article states that land belongs to the Ukrainian People. As antagonistic as it may sound, nowhere does the article refer to them as people living in the countryside.

One thing remains certain: Now that the industry pie has been sliced, the last wave of prykhvatization in Ukraine will be dubbed the “lust for land.”

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