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Ukrainian Parliament Passes Reform-Minded Budget


26 March 2005 -- Ukraine's parliament today approved a revised 2005 budget that supporters hope will help lay a course for aggressive economic reforms.

The vote was seen as a major victory for the Ukrainian government, which inherited major budgetary problems after last year's Orange Revolution succeeded in putting opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko in office.

Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko said the budget -- which cuts the country's deficit and scraps tax breaks for industry -- was the first step toward ending corruption and the shadow economy.

The budget had wide backing from parliamentary lawmakers. A total of 376 deputies in the 450-seat chamber backed the draft. The remainder abstained.

Tymoshenko said the broad agreement, which came after two days of talks, was a sign that the government and the parliament could work together to "produce results for every citizen."

(Reuters)
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