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Tatar-Bashkir Report: May 4, 1999

4 May 1999
Government Concerned With Poor State Of Public Transportation
The state of public transport in Tatarstan was called "catastrophic" in a session of the Cabinet of Ministers on 3 May in Kazan. It was reported that every third bus in operation should not be driven. The cabinet decided at the session to develop a program of transport companies with rolling-stock through 2005. A barter system, whereby foreign-made buses could be bought in exchange for goods produced in Tatarstan was considered. A program to modernize the traffic control system from 1999-2003 was adopted as well. The issue of reduced fares for local public transport was also discussed. More than one million people reportedly have the right to the free use of public transport in Tatarstan, Tatar radio and television reported.

Oil, Gas Technologies Congress To Be Held In Ufa
The Ninth International Congress of Innovation Technologies for the Oil and Gas Industry and Communications (CITOGIC-99) will be held in Ufa from 8-12 June by order of the Russian government and the State Duma, Bashinform reports. The president of Bashkortostan, Murtaza Rakhimov, takes over as host of the congress. The previous host was Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev, and next year's organizer will be Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov, who chairs the National Organizing Committee of the tenth anniversary of CITOGIC in 2000.

Siberian Tatars To Discuss Revival Of Tatar Culture, Language
A conference titled "Tatars in Siberia: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow; Strategy of Development," will be held in Novosibirsk on 5-7 May, Tatar-inform reports. The aim of the conference is to consolidate efforts to preserve and develop the cultural legacy of Siberian Tatars. Delegates from the Tatar Public Center of Novosibirsk Oblast, the Tatar ethnic-culture autonomy of Novosibirsk, the Muslim community, and the Tatar culture center will participate. Problems in reviving Tatar-language education and strengthening the role of the media in bringing back the Tatar language are to be discussed.

Tatarstan's Republican Party Gets New Chairwoman
Mukhammad Sabirov, the chairman of the Republican Party of Tatarstan (RPT) and former prime minister of the republic, resigned as head of the party at a RPT plenum on 27 April in Kazan. The plenum appointed Yekaterina Osipova as the new chairwoman, Kazan radio reported. Before, she headed the party's Kazan branch. The RPT is an opposition party.

Tatar Racers At European Championship
Drivers from Tatarstan were introduced for the first time at a European motor racing championship, Tatar television reports. In the first stage of the competition in Portugal, Tatar racers Airat Shaimiev and Ilham Rakhmatullin placed 6th and 7th. Next month, they will participate in the second stage of the championship in Germany.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova