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Tartarstan: Short News Items

Kazan, 24 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - The french Bouygues building company is to reconstruct a historic section of the Tatar capital Kazan. The work is to include refurbishment of a luxury hotel. Our correspondent in that Russian republic reports Bouygues have promised to finish work at the hotel 24 months after a final contract is signed in April. Negotations are underway with French banks for a loan of $48 million, to be guaranteed by the Tatarstan government. Both Sheraton and Intercontinental international hotel groups have expressed an interest in managing the 5-star Kazan Hotel after reconstruction.

Alcohol Import And Sales Temporarily Banned

Local authorities in Tatarstan's Muslimovsky region have banned the import and sales of alcohol until February 10. The reason behind the authorities' decision is said to be the big quantities of "false" vodka sold in the region, which authorities say has to be located and destroyed. Our correspondent points out that the duration of the ban, which started on January 10, coincides with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.