Public funding spent on Euro 2012 – none left for the elderly and ill
Kharkiv spent more than a billion UAH from the city and regional budgets on preparations for Euro 2012. It’s now very difficult to find money for joint projects with charities. The situation is similar in Kyiv.
The German fund Union of Working Samaritans [ASB] together with the Memory, Responsibility and Future Fund, and a local district council committed themselves to pay150 thousand EUR to help elderly victims of Nazism. Mobile brigades providing medical and other assistance to 100 elderly victims of Nazism in their homes were created by the charity “Kharkiv Samaritans”.
The agreement said that from 2011 to 2014 the Kharkiv and the German sides pay half each – 250 thousand UAH per year. The Germans have already paid their half (75 thousand EUR) in full; the Kharkiv side – not a penny.
The Samaritans visit elderly people living alone who need help. Michael Schnats from ASB says that they are simply told that there’s no money in the public coffers which is not surprising if you look at how much the city authorities are spending on preparations for Euro 2012. He stresses that the Championship should not be held at the expense of the elderly and those in need. The charity is hoping to find another sponsor in Ukraine. If they don’t and the Kharkiv district council continues not paying, the project may have to fold this autumn.
10 billion EUR were spent on preparations for Euro 2012 in Kharkiv, with 1 billion from local public funding.
The head of the Kharkiv District Council Mykhailo Tretyak asserts that he has not heard of this project, , although ASB is adamant that it is his signature on the agreement. Oksana Malysheva, a BYUT deputy on the Council says that the agreement was signed in 2011 after the budget was approved. At the end of the year when money was left over, it was spent on more important purposes, funding repairs to hospitals needed now for many years.
Yury Krylov, Executive Director for Kharkiv Samaritans says that the paperwork for applying for money are only now being prepared, and these will need to be submitted in two months. Mr Krylov is not particularly optimistic about the outcome of the application.
The Kyiv project is already folding since the mobile group there has been left with no money.
They can only hope that when Euro 2012 finally ends the authorities will find money in order to help vulnerable groups in society in cooperation with charities.
Ludmila Klochko from the Kharkiv Human Rights Group explains the gradual reduction in social payments from both the local and central budgets as due to the lack of “real social policy in the country”. “It’s pure populism. They promised one thing they didn’t managed to achieve, they promise another. And give it to those who complain”. Ms Klochko says that other governments have also done this, although the present government has excelled itself by its total reduction of benefits and supplements to pensions for former Chornobyl clean-up workers, veterans of the Afghanistan War, children of the War and former military servicemen.
From a report at http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0, , 15991131, 00.html