The World Bank approved two new loans totaling US$600 million to support privatization and financial-market reform. A disbursement of US$200 million was to be made immediately, with two equal tranches scheduled for December and June. But the parliament seems intent on frustrating fulfillment of economic conditions attached to the Bank loan and the related US$2.2 billion IMF program. The parliament last week overturned President Leonid Kuchma’s veto of a bill to prohibit increases in subsidized rents, utilities and public transportation. The opposition argues that the government should not raise costs to the public until it has paid in full the back wages, pensions and other arrearages that it owes.

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