POSTCARD WITH THE NEW YEAR GREETINGS SENT OUT BY PRESIDENT KUCHMA

Postcard sent to the entire nation
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POSTCARD WITH THE NEW YEAR GREETINGS SENT OUT BY PRESIDENT KUCHMA
POSTCARD WITH THE NEW YEAR GREETINGS SENT OUT BY PRESIDENT KUCHMA
Wholeheartedly, I greet You and Your Family with the New 2003 Year and Holy Christmas. Wishing you good health, personal happiness and family harmony. Wishing you all success in any endeavors, creative inspiration in your work. Let well-being and all good things come to your home. Let piece, coziness and uplifted holiday mood reign at your home throughout the whole new year.
       Sincerely Yours, Leonid Kuchma (printed stamp and postmark: President of Ukraine. Leonid Kuchma. Kyiv, 2003)
    DEUTSCHE WELLE RADIO
    Interfax Ukraine
   

    Mykola  Tomenko,  Chairman  of the Parliament Committee  for  Freedom of Speech and
    Information,  is  curious  about who funded Presidential New  Year  greeting postcards in
    Ukraine ... may total be 17 million pieces. He intends to clarify the issue of lawfulness and
    find  out  the source that funded printing and distributing by Ukrposhta postal services
    the  postcards with the New Year greetings from President of Ukraine to the citizens of
    Ukraine.

    The Ukrainian service of Deutsche Welle radio reported on Sunday that Mykola Tomenko sent
    a formal request to the Accounting Chamber of Ukraine  in which he asked to find the sources
    that funded printing the greeting cards.

    In an interview with Deutsche Welle Mr. Tomenko said that the circulation of the New Year
    greeting card that has a personal signature of President Leonid Kuchma may total reach 17
    million pieces. Therefore, the Parliamentary deputy wants the Accounting Chamber to inspect
    the lawfulness and the source(s) that funded printing and postal distribution of the greeting
    cards, so that the useless articles of budget expenditures would be cancelled in future.
    ______________________________________

    PRESIDENT DRAWS FIRE FOR HOLIDAY POSTCARD
    by Peter Byrne
    Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine

   
President Leonid Kuchma sent New Year greetings to millions Ukrainians wishing them health
    and prosperity in 2003. While many of those who received the cards say they appreciated
    receiving them, the president's political opponents have considered this mailing as yet
    another abuse of power and a waste of government funds.
    Kuchma's postcard depicts downtown Kyiv, highlighting historical and tourist attractions,
    including the Glory to Ukraine monument in Independence Square, the Pechersk Lavra, and
    St. Sophia Cathedral.

    "Let the New Year bring peace, tranquility and holiday cheer", reads part of the message on
    the back of the postcard which bears the president's signature.
Yuri Zagardony, appointed First Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration, said the mass mailing is in keeping with other holiday rituals which traditionally include state-sponsored gift-giving ceremonies at orphanages and official Christmas tree-lighting ceremonies in oblast and regional centers throughout the country.
His office could not tell the Kyiv Post how much the postcard campaign costed.
But Presidential Administration representatives said that many people who received Kuchma's postcards were grateful and posted positive comments on Kuchma's website.
Hryhoriy Burlakov from Shchastya, Donetsk oblast, wrote: "President himself has sent me a postcard wishing me well. I am touched with your heartfelt and sincere holiday greetings!"
Vitaly Popov from Luhansk was moved to send to President a cutting from his vineyard. "Please accept this vine root as a token of my gratitude," he wrote. "If you are ever in Bilovodsk, please drop by".
Meanwhile, the opposition "Sobor" party has offered to hand-deliver negative responses to the New Year's greeting card.
"Anyone who wishes to reply to Kuchma can simply drop off their message at the Sobor party headquarters or deliver it to the organizers of the Arise, Ukraine! movement", the party said in a statement on its website.
The organizers of Arise, Ukraine! movement that launched the nationwide protest actions, said at a press-conference in Kyiv that they plan to deliver messages from the president's critics during the next wave of anti-presidential demonstrations, planned to begin March 9.
At least one deputy wants to know why the government, entering 2003 with a deficit budget decided to spend so much money on greeting cards.
Mykola Tomenko, an Our Ukraine deputy who chairs the Rada's Freedom of Speech Committee, said he had sent a formal request to the government audit office, the Accounting Chamber, to ask where the money came from to pay for the postcard campaign. Tomenko said the government might have mailed as many as 17 million postcards. "Every kopek of the state funds spent on the postcards could have been used to raise pensions and minimal wage or to reform the healthcare system", Tomenko told UNIAN.
______________________________________________________________________
UKRAINIANS SEND NEW YEAR"S PRESIDENTIAL POSTCARD BACK TO KUCHMA
Source: Deutsche Welle
Published on Ukrainska Pravda
Kyiv, Ukraine

A regional organization of the URP - Sobor party called Halychyna residents to send presidential New Year's postcard back to President Kuchma. Deputy Head of the Party's regional branch Vitaliy Ilik told Deutsche Welle that Lviv residents started delivering the postcards to the local Sobot HQs. "We also recommend", he said, "that people write their wishes and remarks on these postcards. The purpose of the action is to draw public attention to the fact that the money for the campaign came from the budget", Vitaliy Ilik said.

Commenting on the presidential postcard the chief socialist Oleksandr Moroz reportedly said that the compliments of the Head of the State estimatedly costed Ukraine Hrn 20 mln. "It looks like they try to find out how far President may go. Obviously, all these steps and gestures: trip to Prague, meeting in Moscow, New Year greetings and all this sort of congratulations are all connected things and mean to find out what is unacceptable for people", Moroz said.
______________________________________________________
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