Parliament approves moratorium on evictions of publishing and bookselling outlets
On 16 January the Verkhovna Rada passed a Resolution introducing a moratorium on measures to evict media offices, cultural institutions, publishing houses, bookshops and book distributing businesses. The Resolution was supported by most of the National Deputies.
The author of the Resolution Volodymyr Yavorisvsky explained that despite a law passed just a few months ago to support the publishing industry in Ukraine, there was a danger that the country could end up without bookshops and book distributors. He commented on the number of bookshops that had closed in Kyiv and the fact that members of staff of the publishing house “Dnipro” have barricaded themselves in their building. The latter, on Volodymyrska St is in a prestigious part of Kyiv, and in an old building, and the Kyiv City Administration has for the second time (the first was in 2005) been trying to evict the publishing company. While various excuses are given, the main reason would seem to be the desire to lease the part of the building, which is one of considerable historical importance, to commercial outlets.
The latest conflict reached collision course when the city authorities changed the locks on the door, hence the action in barricading themselves in.
This problem has arisen on many occasions, with the most prominent recently being the conflict, leading to run ins and questionable behaviour by the police over attempts to remove the civic organization “Respublica” from its premises. See http://www.khpg.org.ua/en/index.php?id=1224499891&w=Respublica and the links at the bottom for more information.