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Tatar-Bashkir Report: January 3, 2001

3 January 2001
Shaimiev Receives Greeted at New Year
President Mintimer Shaimiev received numerous messages of congratulation from senior Russian officials on New Year's eve, Tatarstan's presidential press service reported. Russian president Vladimir Putin, State Duma chairman Gennady Seleznev, Central election Committee chairman Alexander Veshnyakov, deputy heads of Russian presidential staff Dmitry Kozak and Alexey Abramov, Constitution Court Chairman Marat Baglay, State Duma deputy chairman Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Otechestvo-Vsya Rossia Duma bloc Yevgeny Primakov, leader of Russian Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov, Interior Minister Vladimir Rushaylo, Minister of Labor and Social Devopment Alexander Pochinok were among those who sent greetings.

Muslim Countries Send Greetings to Kazan
As the flow of greeting messages to Tatarstan's president began on 30 December, letters from the leaders of Moslem countries also continued to arrive in Kazan in connection with Ramazan and Gayit Al Fitr. Among those sending greetings were the King of Jordan Abdella, Egyptian President Muhammed Hosni Mubarek, Palestinian leader Yaser Arafat and Iraqi President Saddam Huseyn.

KamAZ Racer Malfunctions in France
Spanish racer Rafael Tibau representing KamAZ team in the Paris-Dakar race managed to reach the checkpoint despite his truck's malfunction, RIA-Novosti reported. Once he receives the necessary spare parts, he expects to resume the race. Tibau is the first foreign racer ever to represent the KamAZ team.

By Iskender Nurmi

Bashkortostan Decales 2001 Year of the Mother
Ufa has officially declared 2001 the year of the mother, an RFE/RL correspondent reported on 2 January. Beginning this year, the republic government will pay an additional 1,000 rubles ($35) to families with four children and 1500 rubles to families with five or more.

Special Pediatric Medicine Program Adopted
The Bashkir government has endorsed a special program for the diagnosis and treatment of children over the next five years, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Ufa on 2 January. The program will upgrade facilities at the pediatric center and other hospitals at a cost of 346 million rubles ($12.5 million). The republic government has taken this step in response to a rise in childhood illnesses over the last decade. Meanwhile, Bashkortostan's Ministry of Healthcare intends to sign a new contract with Euromedics Investments Company, an RFE\RL correspondent reported from Ufa on 3 January.

Fires Claim Victims at New Year
The Fire Service of Bashkortostan's Interior Ministry reported 19 fires over new year's eve. Three people died, and one was seriously injured. Most were the result of negligence as a result of drunkeness.

By Iskender Nurmi