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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 22, 2001

22 February 2001
Tatar Aircraft Constructors To Picket Russian Government
Six activists from aircraft construction trade unions left for Moscow on 21 February to participate in a Russian-wide action protesting Aeroflot's plans to purchase 50 Europe-produced airbuses A-320, reported. The aircraft constructors plan to picket government house on 22 February. Duma speaker Gennady Seleznev and Russian Aircraft Constructors Society head Aleksei Batkov have already appealed to President Vladimir Putin on behalf of the protesters. The Duma itself sent an official inquiry to the government asking whether purchasing foreign planes was appropriate.

TPC Supports Shaimiev
The Tatar Public Center in Chally on 20 February issued a resolution saying that republic leaders must work to prevent modifications in the state sovereignty declaration, to have Tatarstan enter the Russian-Belarusian Union as an equal member. The Center called on its members to vote for incumbent President Mintimir Shaimiev because he has promoted Tatar national aspirations.

POZIS To Provide Refrigerators For Defense Ministry
The Yeshel Uzen Sergo plant (POZIS) has won a tender among 30 companies to deliver 1,000 refrigerators to the Russian defense ministry, Tatar-inform reported on 21 February.

KamAZ Pays Off Back Wages
KamAZ officials said the company's sales had grown three percent in 2000 and that its profits totalled 1.6 billion rubles ($56 million), Efir-inform reported on 21 February. The company also succeeded in paying off all back wages.

Deputies Concerned About Educational Institutions
The parliamentary control committee on 21 February reported that 50 schools in the republic is in bad physical shape and that every third school requires at least some capital repairs, Tatarstan television reported. Eighteen percent of all students now have to attend school on a second shift, and secondary schools have been supplied with only 62 percent of the textbooks they require

Tatarstan Pilgrims Leave for Mecca
On 21 February, 50 Muslims from Tatarstan left for the haj to Mecca, Nizhny Novgorod agency reported. In past years, the Saudi government subsidized their travel; this year, the pilgrims have had to pay $1500 each.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Ufa to Continue Focus on Youth Problems
Kamilya Davletova, who chairs the state committee on youth issues, said on 21 February that Ufa will continue to try to provide young people with jobs and homes in 2001, just as it had done during the youth year of 2000. She said her committee would also seek to help those who had suffered psychologically from service in hot spots.

Alcohol Consumption Hits 12 Liters Per Person Per Year agency reported on 21 February that per capita consumption of alcohol reached 12 liters last year in Bashkortostan, high but less than the all-Russia average of 13 liters.

Influenza Epidemic Over
State officials said that the influenza epidemic during which 4.6 percent of the population were infected had now passed.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi