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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 26, 2000

26 July 2000
Kazan Anniversary Celebration Plans Nearly Ready
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Valentina Matvienko, who is the deputy chairman of the organizing committee for celebrations marking Kazan's 1000th anniversary, said on 25 July that the draft program of the holiday should be completed in three days, Tatar Radio reported. Several Kazan city adminisration officials will visit Moscow this week to coordinate different parts of the program with various federal ministries.

Shaimiev To Address Anniversary Parliament Session
Tatarstan's State Council Presidium set the parliament's next plenary session for 28 August, Tatar Radio reported on 25 July. The only topic included on the agenda is the 10th anniversary of Tatarstan's Declaration of State Sovereignty. The deputies from the 12th Supreme Soviet that adopted the historical document and guests from Moscow and several Russian regions will also participate. President Mintimer Shaimiev is expected to deliver the keynote address at the session.

Tatarstan's Mufti Visits Sarajevo
The chairman of Tatarstan's Muslim Religious Board, Gusman khazrat Iskhakov, participated in the fourth congress of the Euro-Asian Islamic Council in Sarajevo, Tatar Radio reported on 25 July. Iskhakov said in a speech at the congress that the tragedy the Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina faced is to some extent the same "my native people went through." He said Islam lost its important role on Euro-Asian territories when the Golden Horde was destroyed. He added that currently there is a negative opinion toward Islam, so the main task should be to explain that Islam is a religion of mercy, wealth, and peace. The mufti suggested that Tatarstan's model for avoiding controversies between Orthodoxy and Islam be implemented in the Balkans. He said that the model is based on respect for all religions, preserving cultural traditions, and maintaining friendly relations between all peoples.

Pensions To Increase By Twelve Percent
Pensions in Tatarstan will be increased by 12 percent starting 1 August, Tatar Radio reported. An adviser to Tatarstan's prime minister, Lyubov Mishina, told a news conference on 25 July that the measure will cover 445,000 pensioners who are unemployed or 77 percent of all pensioners. The maximum pension rises from 754 to 896 rubles a month, and the average pension from 753 to 846 rubles.

Aid For Storm Victims
The head of the republican department of the Russian Pension Fund, Airat Shafigullin, told reporters on 25 July that the Fund allocated 2.5 million rubles to 11 of Tatarstan's districts that which suffered from severe thunderstorms last month. He said the aid will be distributed to pensioners who suffered damage and added that the average sum is 1,500 rubles but that it will be distributed proportionally depending on the amount of damage inflicted.

By Gulnara Khasanova