Kyiv, August 13 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Communist Party of Ukraine has proposed a comprehensive program of state support for villages, Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko has said.
Symonenko said at a meeting with the employees of the Druzhba cooperative in the village of Blahodatne in Kharkiv region that Ukrainian villages were on the verge of extinction.
“Today all people are talking about the need to join the European Union, and all people want to be Europeans and live according to European standards, but at a time when the whole of Europe is supporting villages, while everything is being done in Ukraine to destroy them,” the party’s press service quoted him as saying.
Symonenko recalled that there were 12,000 collective farms in Ukraine before it gained independence and that each of them had 40 tractors, 12 combine harvesters, over a thousand cows and hundreds of jobs.
“In the Soviet era there were about four million jobs in villages, while now there are not even 600,000,” he said.
Symonenko also said that all young people had practically left villages and that 80% of their residents were retirees.
Symonenko said that as part of state support for villages the communists had proposed a comprehensive program that foresees the stabilization of prices for rural products, affordable loans, a firm purchase price, support for cooperatives, a ban on the sale of land, support for young professionals in rural areas, as well as benefits and affordable housing for those who live in villages.
“Ukraine can regain the status of an agricultural country, the country that supported the entire economy thanks to agriculture. And if we’re talking about Europe, a state that does not support villages cannot talk about European integration,” he said.
[UA EUROPE EEU EMRG POL]