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Tatar-Bashkir Report: December 8, 2004

8 December 2004
Shaimiev Says Proposed Government Reform Leaves Room For Compromise
President Mintimer Shaimiev told Interfax-Povolzhye on 7 December that he believes that a proposed system under with the Russian president would choose regional leaders, who would in kind be subject to approval by regional parliaments, is a workable system because it allow for always finding a "reasonable compromise."

However, Shaimiev reiterated his belief that it is unacceptable to keep a stipulation in the draft legislation that would allow for the dissolution of parliament in the event it fails to confirm the president's choice twice. He said that in this case, the Russian president should be obliged to take into account the wishes of local citizens.

Russia's Interior Troops Commander Visits Kazan
After a closed-doors meeting with President Mintimer Shaimiev on 7 December, the head of the Russian Interior Ministry's interior troops Nikolai Rogojkin said that the main topic of discussion was security during the upcoming Kazan millennium celebrations, RFE/RL�s Kazan bureau reported. While declining to mention the number of troops that will be used to safeguard the celebrations, he confirmed that special measures will be taken to ensure the safety of Russian and foreign guests.

Later the same day, Tatar Interior Minister Esget Seferov told reporters that a total of some 35,000 police officers and interior troops will work in Kazan during the city�s millennium celebrations in 2005. Only 4,500 of them will be from outside Tatarstan, and only 2,500 interior troops will be sent by the Russian Interior Ministry.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Ufa Government Cites Gradual Improvement In Paying Back Wages
Deputy Ufa Mayor Aleksei Oschepkov told reporters on 7 December that in December 2004 back wages to workers of the city's industrial enterprises fell to some 28 million rubles ($1.03 million), an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported. About 64 percent of the back pay is owed by construction companies.

About half of the debtor enterprises are reportedly bankrupt, while those business that are currently operating usually pay up after being fined by a special monitoring council within the city government.

Anonymous Poll Unveils Strong Interest In Drugs Among Teenagers
According to an anonymous poll conducted by the healthcare services of Sibay, Bahkortostan, and cited during the 7 December rally "For a drug-free future for our children's future," one in three teenagers confessed that they have tried drugs at least once, Regnum reported the same day.

Some 4,000 teenagers are officially registered as drug abusers in the republic and are undergoing treatment.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi