Financial Times, June 11th 2004, p.17
Many government's concerned by slow population growth are hoping for a new baby boom. But policies to bring about social change are expensive and controversial. The article looks at how the population issue is creeping onto the European political agenda.
The Guardian, June 1st 2004, p.12
The system supporting veterans, disabled people and pensioners in Russia is set to be swept away as reforms aim to cap compensation. The system of Soviet benefits - or privileges - is perhaps the last benevolent legacy of the Communist era. For six decades unemployed veterans have relied upon generous benefits: half-rent for their flats, free basic medicines and public transport travel, and discounts on food and telephone calls. But to today's Kremlin this is a huge burden on state resources and the antithesis of the privatised Russia it wants to create. From next year, between 14 and 17 million of the 102 million people receiving benefits will be given financial compensation. Preliminary figures show this will rarely exceed 3,000 roubles (£55 a month), and there are fears it will not be index linked.