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Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Tymoshenko Cabinet: A Hydra in Your Pocket

Serhiy Leshchenko of Ukrayinska Pravda has written a short guide to the wheeling and dealing in the Tymoshenko cabinet.

For a better idea of Ukraine’s cost of government, try asking this question: How many deputies/undersecretaries do Ukrainian cabinet ministers have?

Here’s your answer:

Heorhiy Filipchuk, Minister of Health Care: 10
Yuriy Melnyk, Minister of Agriculture: 10
Yuriy Lutsenko, Minister of Internal Affairs: 9
Mykola Onishchuk, Minister of Justice: 8
Lyudmyla Denysova, Minister of Labor: 8
Yuriy Pavlenko, Minister of Youth Affairs: 8
Vasyl Vovkun, Minister of Culture, 7
Serhiy Buryak, Head of the State Tax Administration: 10
Viktor Ivchenko, Head of the State Innovation and Investment Agency: 6
Serhiy Lytvyn, Head of the State Border Guard Administration: 6
Oleh Dubyna, Chairman of Naftogaz: 8
Oleksandr Medvedko, Prosecutor General: 8
Valeriy Heletey, Head of the State Security Directorate: 7

"The Tymoshenko School of Management. Where every minister counts."



elmer said...

Taras, the article points out that Tymoshenko has made appointments in order to "pay off" other political entities for their support, including even the commies. And that includes relatives of assorted people who get appointed, with the requisite perks of the position - car, etc.

Now, to be fair, Tymo is not the only one who does this.

And, as the article points out at the very beginning, Yanukovych and his Party of Roosha had loaded up each of the ministries with 16 deputy ministers.

Tymo's count is a little below that.

But nevertheless, it points out the severe problem of crony capitalism and crony corrupt government in Ukraine, which is routinely and happily practiced by all of the scuzbags in the "political elite."

In other countries, such a problem was solved in various ways.

One way - a civil service system.

Another - requiring a nomination and approval process, rather than just handing out jobs like candy.

But, as always, in Ukraine, people can't seem to think straight.

It's just a bunch of sovoks gone wild, the people can't seem to figure out how to get rid of them, and the government is owned and controlled by 30 Jews and a Tatar for the personal benefit and enrichment of 30 Jews and a Tatar.

Taras said...

Sure, 10 is better than 16, but it’s still a very bad figure.

Over the last 17 years, the Ukrainian government has created overnight billionaires while reducing the country’s population by 7 million people. It is a government of the cronies, by the cronies, for the cronies.

Despite some early achievements, Tymoshenko has done almost nothing to change the rules of the game. Her governance standards make her part of the problem, not part of the solution.

The hyperbole regarding the 30 Jews and 1 Tatar, unfortunately, has some truth to it.

When I look at the Ukrainian section of the World’s Billionaires 2009, I don’t see a single ethnic Ukrainian. I don’t see a single person who speaks Ukrainian. What I see is a group of people who became overnight billionaires at a huge cost to the overall population. One of these people has dual citizenship and lives outside Ukraine.

As long as the ethical/ethnic makeup of the elite does not benefit/represent the overall population, there will be scores to settle.

elmer said...

Well, Taras, I agree with everything you say, save one exception:

I think Tymoshenko has made some positive strides, as has Yushchenko.

Yushchenko's disastrous performance in office, and his reliance on a thug like Baloha, do not negate the very important ideas that he put forth.

"Corruption is killing Ukraine", for one.

Plus, the Holodomor Memorial - very, very important.

Plus, the re-privatization of Kryvorizhstal, the steel mill that was originally stolen by Pinchuk and Akhmetov in a crooked, rigged privatization bid.

Tymoshenko got rid of Firtash and RUE in the Naftohaz-Gazprom contracts. (And, yes, I recognize that it remains to be seen what replaced that corrupt scheme.)

Those are just a few example. Not enough - but even a little helps.

Even the devil gets his due sometimes.

elmer said...

Taras, the system is called "patronage."

The patronage system fosters corruption. It's a system in which those in power reward assorted people, at their whim, with government jobs, or with government contracts, or with other favors, in return for their support.

In the example you have linked to, it turns out that the son of a politician - not in Yulia's party - got a government job. You can guess why.

A Communist was rewarded with a government job, as a reward for supporting Yulia at a crucial moment in Parliament.

And these aren't just any jobs - they are deputy minister jobs, with attendant perks and privileges, such as cars, etc.

That's the system in place in Ukraine, and Yulia is not, and has not, been the only one practicing it.

If Ukraine did not get warnings, or at least advice, from the West against a patronage system, I would be extremely surprised. The advice or warning may not have surfaced publicly, but I have no doubt that it was given.

So what results is Firtash going on TV and claiming he is the savior of Ukraine through his gas corruption with RUE.

Or Yulia rewarding assorted people with deputy minister jobs.

But, as always, in Ukraine the attitude is "the West can't tell us anything."

And - "well, it's impossible to get rid of corruption - what can we do?"

And people leaving the country.

There are indeed antidotes to the patronage system and its inherent corruption.

But people have to do something about it, not just sit on the sidelines.