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Buryatia to free-float the Rouble (B$)

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BCNA: Buryatia to free float the Rouble under new reforms

“In Parliament today President Zhukovsky unveiled plans to free float the Buryatian Rouble (B$) for the first time since the nation gained independence. The Rouble was, for a time fixed to the value of the Vaulian Rouble (V$) at an exchange rate of B$2 = V$ 1. The current fiscal policy fixes the Buryatian Rouble to the value of the Hanseatic Mark at an exchange rate of B$ 1.20 to 1 HM with an allowance for only a shift of 3% of the currency’s value.

While most analysts believe that it would be a good idea in the long run to float the Rouble, they express concern that a sudden free floating of the currency would lead to a rapid devaluation. Some members of the Pan Asian Party have voiced concern over the proposal and have asked the President to first draft trade proposals with other nations in the Asian region and to ensure the competitiveness of Buryatia's exports before free floating the nation’s currency.

The President’s proposal for the free floating of the currency would have to pass the People’s Khural in both the Parliament and the People’s Committee before being enacted. Although the Party of Worker’s has control of the Parliament, they do not have an outright majority that would be needed to stop the measure on the Parliament floor.

The proposal is the first in a series of legislative bills in the President’s economic policy. The Pan Asian Party has set as one of its major goals to “lay the groundwork for the creation of an economic and political union in the Asian region” through free market reforms and a relaxation of trade restrictions. In a rare split between the President and his party, some Pan Asian Party MPs have voiced concern about the plans and have asked the President to take a slow, stage by stage approach to implementation to avoid exacerbating any negative effects on the national economy. Speculation about a possible devaluation of the currency has had a significant impact on the Buryatia Stock Exchange (BSE) which closed sharply lower today.

The first response to the currency proposal came from the National Union of Employees (NUE) which is now in a meeting with several other Unions. The NUE issued a statement which said that they: “implore the President to act responsibly, and in such a way so as to minimize the negative impact that the first reforms would have on the nation’s economy as a whole and to ensure that the nation’s economy is ready to compete effectively before removing the trade barriers. Any significant devaluation in the value of the Rouble would negatively affect our nation’s workers and their families who are already in the midst of dealing with the current financial difficulties. We vehemently oppose any moves to devalue the Rouble and we state that if any of our workers lose their jobs as a result of the President’s proposals, we will hold him fully responsible”. The President could not be contacted for a response to the statement from the NUE as he is now in a cabinet meeting.

We will continue to watch this story as it develops."-Reporter

***News Credits***

=====NUE Meeting===

Several delegates sat around the table discussing their options. A man wearing an impeccably neat business suit and shades stood from his seat and walked towards the podium where the Chairman of the NUE sat. He turned to face the other delegates, then spoke:

"Fellow delegates, we must take action. We can not sit by and do nothing while the government continues its reform agenda while turning a blind eye to the plight of the everyday worker! We must make a stand! We must let the government know that the rights of the workers of this nation, who are bearing most of the burden of the financial downturn, may not be violated in the name of progress. We must be prepared to call a nationwide strike if necessary to force the government to listen to the workers.

For now, we should voice our opposition through the media and through rallies, but if the Khural agrees to the proposal, we must strike!"-????

The other delegates gave quiet murmurs of agreement, and voted unanimously in favor of that approach. As the Chairman of the NUE left to transmit the message to the Minister of Labor, the mysterious figure in the suit walked slowly out of the room.

Once he had reached a hallway far enough from the conference room, he was met by a woman wearing a military uniform. The mysterious man removed his contact lenses and ID card and stuffed them into a duffel bag. Without hesitation, he removed his shades, and removed the wig he was wearing and they both hurried out of the building and into a waiting car.

"So how did it go?"-Woman

"Excellent, if I say so myself. Now all we have to do is wait and see."-???

"Indeed your Highness"-Woman

"Please, call me Prince Yuri"-Prince Yuri

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BCNA: Workers threaten to strike!

“As the President’s free float measure reached the Parliament floor for debate, the National Union of Employees (NUE) issued a written declaration that they will strike if the measure is approved un-amended. The umbrella union also called a rally in front of the Parliament building that was attended by several thousand workers who walked off the job to protest.

The government deployed several units of riot police around the Parliament building, but the rally was largely peaceful and did not require the police to intervene. At the rally several union leaders urged the Parliament to reject the bill in support of the nation’s workers. The protestors also chided the Pan Asian Party (PAP) for what it called a “counterproductive economic policy”. Despite the clear show of opposition by the nation’s unions, the President has insisted that the policy proceed and has called on the Parliament to approve the bill as early as tomorrow morning.

It is unclear how the votes in Parliament will be on this issue however it is known that the Party of Workers (POW) is expected to reject the proposal, while the majority of the Pan Asian Party (PAP) is expected to approve it. This leaves the deciding votes in the hands of the Democratic Party of Buryatia (DPB) and the Buryatia Liberation Party (BLP). If a large enough faction of the DPB votes with the POW then the bill will not pass the Parliament even if every other MP votes in favor, but if the PAP is able to gain support from both the BLP and the DPB, then the bill will pass despite objections from the POW.

What has become more and more clear is that this is a very divisive issue and will mark the first key test for President Zhukovsky since taking office. Losing this vote would deal a severe blow to the Pan Asia Party’s economic policy as well as to the President himself.

As soon as we have received the results of the vote in Parliament, we will announce them. Until then, we at BCNA wish you a good night”-Reporter

==Inside Parliament (4 hours later) [Live TV Broadcast]==



In silence MPs indicated their votes while the speaker watched the tally on a monitor built into his podium. When all of the MPs had cast their votes, the Speaker rose and banged his gavel.

“With all 700 MPs present, the votes on Proposal 8E72C are as follows:

Votes in favor of the Proposal: 364

Votes against the Proposal: 336

The motion is therefore approved without amendment by 52% of this Parliament”

Immediately after the tally was announced, the Parliament dissolved into a shouting match while party leaders tallied the votes of their MPs to determine how the measure passed. In the end, the numbers stood as the Pan Asia Party gained the support of the Democratic Party of Buryatia, while the bill was opposed by all members of the Party of Workers and the Buryatia Liberation Party.

The shouting match in Parliament only halted when an MP from the Party of Workers walked up to the podium:

“Ladies and Gentlemen of this Honorable Parliament, in light of that which has occurred here today the Party of Workers shall begin consultations with the other members of this Parliament and the other members of this government regarding the compatibility of the Pan Asia Party’s policies with the wishes of the people of this nation. Mr. Speaker, this serves as a notice that we will be tabling a motion of no confidence in the government of President Zhukovsky as early as tomorrow evening.

Thank you.”-POW MP

***News Credits***

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