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Tatar-Bashkir Report: January 27, 1999

27 January 1999
Shaimiev Gives Speech To Russian Federation Council
Tatarstan's President Mintimer Shaimiev said in a speech to the Russian Federation Council on 26 January that "Tatarstan was and is a stable factor in Russia whereas the State Duma and Federation Council sometimes adopt laws that infringe on the interests of Russian republics."

GM Official On The Effect Of The Brazilian Economic Crisis
In an interview with the republican press on 26 January, Dmitry Shulga, the public relations director for General Motors in Russia and the CIS, said it was hard to say how the economic crisis in Brazil and the devaluation of its currency would affect production at the GM plant in Alabuga, Tatarstan. GM's Brazilian branch is a major supplier of parts to the joint YelAZ-GM venture. In December, before the crisis in Brazil began, the general director of the YelAZ factory announced a possible reduction in the price of Chevrolet Blazers upon the establishment of a free economic zone in Alabuga. Shulga said that Opel Vectras will also soon be produced by YelAZ-GM.

New Pension System Introduced
Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov ceremoniously delivered new pension insurance policies to 20 workers at the Tatkhimfarmpreparati pharmacological plant on 26 January. The policies are part of a new insurance system for pensioners that is being introduced in Russia. It is scheduled to be fully implemented by 2000. The new policies serve as individual accounts for collecting rents from employees of state- and privately-owned companies.

Slight Improvement For Teachers In Wage Arrears Mess
Republican television reports that the total amount of back wages owed to teachers in Tatarstan has been reduced from 188.46 million rubles to 182.73 million rubles.

More AIDS Patients Registered
Four more people stricken with the acquired immunodeficiency (AIDS) virus were registered in Tatarstan last week. The republican center for AIDS prevention said that 58 people in Tatarstan are known to have AIDS -- 23 of them in Chally alone. The virus is reportedly being spread most readily through the use of dirty needles by drug addicts.

Compiled by I. Nurmi