Borys Kolesnikov: “Ukraine needs to develop a new Constitution”

— Boris Viktorovich, yesterday Ukraine celebrated Constitution Day. Know that you and your colleagues propose to adopt a new Basic law of the country. Tell us more about it.

— Our Constitution is only 21 years old. A short term, but in Ukraine there was a huge change. And the Constitution of 1996, and the changes of 2004, in our opinion, do not allow the country to develop effectively. These changes in 2004 resulted in a dualism of power in the country. This, in turn, resulted in the fact that if the President and the Prime Minister in the coalition but not members of the same party, instead of a constructive dialogue begins the confrontation. Alas, neither our team, nor current here, nothing fundamentally changed.
What we have been prompted to undertake your own version of the Basic Law? It’s two main points: the decentralization of power and the creation in Ukraine of the parliamentary Republic (but more efficient than the current Parliament).

On decentralization: all the 25 entities in the country should have equal rights (reintegration of Donbass in Ukraine — is a separate issue, and giving it a separate status can be, but only as a temporary measure). National defense, national security and foreign policy, of course, remain with the Central government, widely accepted in the world. There can be no local “armed forces” or of the embassies of individual regions in individual countries. Otherwise it will be a mockery… Everything else should be left to places where it is all life.

Today, many developing countries show that the management of the country perhaps even in your tablet computer.

One of these programs, by the way, we are using in the Opposition government. So you have, say, 25 competent managers in the center, which will train dozens of professionals in each field. And for six months actually you can go to a virtual office even a vast country like ours. Then you can abandon the multi-billion dollar cost on the maintenance of power. On the one hand, this is a departure from the bureaucracy that hinders the business and the citizens when making, say, pensions and so on the other — the savings can be used to help those who really need it.

About the parliamentary Republic: the lower house of Parliament elected 150 deputies exclusively on party open lists. They need to publish at the expense of the parties and to send to each voter, to choose. And bind these lists to the districts, in our opinion, is just a disguise, in fact, it’s the same “mazhoritarka”. The upper house — elected “senators”, one person from a million voters, since we have a unitary country and we can’t do it by regions. Here is the Parliament 185 members.

I would have introduced such a law in the next 10 years: the winning party gets 50% plus one mandate, the rest are divided proportionally recruited by the parties. This eliminates the corruption at the highest level. For, otherwise, when it begins to form a coalition, will inevitably be some trades. Don’t want to blame anyone, it has always been. A winning party should be responsible for the result, it risks the most, and therefore it is necessary to give her the opportunity to do as it sees fit: either to form a coalition or act independently. The role of the opposition needs to be spelled out constitutionally, no President, Prime Minister or Parliament could not have this situation to change.

In a Republic where the Parliament appoints the Prime Minister, in fact, the Manager of the country, the President will be mostly ceremonial functions and, accordingly, to be elected to Parliament. He will not lead the defense or foreign policy, but can, if necessary, to dissolve the Parliament.

As our society now does not accept the Federal structure of the country (although the richest countries of the world, the US and Germany, just Federation), we will remain a unitary state. As an example, you can take the political structure of Italy. There is a unitary country and has a powerful local government.

What is the measure of success of the country? Not some abstract numbers, I think. Here, the American passport is all around the world. If in 15-20 years this place will be our passport, it means that Ukraine has become a successful country.

— How realistic is the adoption of a Constitution, about which you say, in our current environment?

— I will say this: all countries that found themselves in a situation like ours, or was decided on a radical change, or has completed a full default. The President today have the power, and the ability to collect all the constructive forces, to put forward a new Constitution and to convince the Parliament to accept it. If Parliament will not do that, the President of the largest faction in Parliament, he could dissolve the current Parliament and to bring the question of the Constitution to a referendum. In fact, to discuss the Basic Law publicly anyway.

Negotiations with the government on a new Constitution are of a sluggish nature, but we believe that adoption is the only way out of this Ukraine situation.

Belief: “the role of the opposition to prescribe constitutional”

— What is the solution of the conflict in the Donbas you see? The Minsk agreement or something else?

— If to speak about the Minsk agreement, there is one “but”. There is no clear, understandable if you want hourly road map. When the next action comes with the full execution of the previous one. For example: got controlled by Ukraine border with Russia in the Donbass in 10 days of held elections there. And so on. It is known that there are people on all sides who profit from what is happening in the region. I don’t believe it can be beneficial to the President or Prime Minister, so they should be the anchor unquestioning implementation of the Minsk agreements. But, again, with a clear road map, with the participation of international mediators. Without such action, I am deeply convinced, we will not have a single country, to which we all aspire.

— Recently the ex-President Leonid Kuchma has sharply negatively responded about the state of the economy. You agree with that?

— Yes, I agree with Leonid Danilovich — all bad. And nobody will be interested in who is to blame. The main question — what to do? There is a world of dogma investment. It is primarily the rule of law. And unconditional respect for private property, from small apartments to the ultimate factories. Investment will come, it will be possible to increase labour productivity and consequently higher incomes. Here is an example of Poland. 39 million poles create GDP nearly $ 600 billion. And 40 million Ukrainians are only $ 80 billion of GDP. This must change urgently, I think the authorities have all opportunities to make Ukraine the most attractive investment area in Eastern Europe. And there you can talk about the whole world…

— It is clear that investment is needed. As for the borrowed money, how would you expect them to attract? Yes, with certain conditions from the IMF and other international institutions…

I was a participant in many of the negotiations with the IMF and the World Bank, with other reputable institutions. And I would not say that someone of them brings to Ukraine stringent requirements. All the world’s lenders are telling us: either increase revenues or reduce costs. And best of both. In short, balance the budget. But in order to get the economy working, we can offer you here this, this and this… You pick and choose what fits you. In General, it is impossible to take forever, because you have to pay. Because I am against the infinite cooperation with the world’s creditors. Here it is necessary to divide the loans. If the money is invested in the development of the economy, an opportunity for all Ukrainians to make money, this is a reasonable loan. But just to spend all the borrowed money is impossible.

Still, one of the requirements of our creditors is a question of sale of agricultural land. Are you for or against?

I’m in the land market. But I would like to all Ukrainians, the owners of the units that received the maximum funds from their sale. Because, I think, to legally adopt a minimum rent for the land. And to do it monthly, as in the letting of, say, apartments. And enter a five-year moratorium on land sales, with the already mentioned monthly rent per hectare.

People should feel the true value of their land. And then the market value of the land, according to experts, will grow by 3-4 times.

Today, with a long-term lease fee per hectare 500-700 dollars. And at this price it want to buy are those who advocate the immediate introduction of a land market. And then, without investing anything in a few years to sell, say, 2000-2500 dollars, triple the capital. But it will lead to the ultimate impoverishment of the Ukrainian village. Because we offer the mentioned moratorium. And then, when the value of the land will have a market, each owner is free either to sell stock for decent money, or to monthly rent (prescribed by law), say, $ 100 per hectare per year.

— Once said that to the present time, the salary of Ukrainians can reach 1000 dollars a month. Alas, it did not happen. What’s going to happen?

— Sure. But it is not the abstract amount. The main indicator of success is a check for the cost of living of the citizen of the country. If our citizens spent 57% of their income on food, 30 on bills, just on life, leisure, education there is almost nothing left, we still have to take. And what about the pensioners? By world standards, they should receive approximately 50% of the average wage. But in our case they even not enough food… And thereby we may increase the salary? Even before the war productivity in Ukraine was 19% of the us. The main problem is the absence of fixed assets, allowing you to produce a single working product from 100 thousand dollars and above. And to build modern enterprises need investment. And we return to what has been already said.

— Once touched on the issue of pensioners, tell us about your relationship to the ongoing pension reform.

— I do not see it as the main answer: how it will provide a pension equal to half the average wage? Should be 18-20 million workers in the expulsion by the employer to the Pension Fund 28 percent of the salaries for each employee. But until then, I don’t see the point in raising the age of retirement and other changes proposed by the authorities.

— Another reform hearing medical. How would you transform this critical sector?

In 2012 at the request of the government the Fund of Rinat Akhmetov “Development of Ukraine” was invited and paid consultants of international level. So: medicine, figuratively, can be represented as an equilateral triangle. In one corner of the patients in the other hospitals, and the top financial centre. The patient help going to the hospital, the bills the financial center. And how to fill it? It is obvious that for retirees who can’t pay their insurance must pay money to the state. Those who work for the state, must have initially benefits package, which includes health insurance. And what about the most serious segment workers business? I believe that the state should lend a business a friendly helping hand and make this model for 5 years. The first year the employer pays 20% of the cost of health insurance, power of 80%. The second year, 40 to 60 and so on. In the end, after 5 years, all payments will be borne by the employer. But these costs can be attributed to the bulk, thereby reducing the tax base.

How to create a new hospital network? And then the authorities, including local, has plenty of leverage. For example, land is allocated for free medical centers, the land tax is not taken 20 years, and the tax on profit medical facilities do not pay 10 years… And the state will be put into a hospital network (except in private, of course) the necessary equipment and in General create an infrastructure of state medicine. But all these benefits it is necessary to give not selectively but to the whole sector of medicine. Where benefits custom, there begins the corruption… But if the bribe is not for that giving, then there is no corruption.

— Let’s move away from politics and macroeconomics. Than made over the years, today you proud of most? Stadiums or maybe the Hyundai trains, which, by the way, much has been said and critical words? And that maybe put you in a deadlock, at least temporarily?

— When I first came to the stadium “Olympic” in early March 2010, honestly, thought we, this structure will never build… I can build new things quickly and efficiently. But reconstruction is difficult… But by the morning, we have a plan how to do everything. And 40 thousand of specialists along with a half million subcontractors all the time built. It is a small success, but it is ours, Ukrainian. And what was the atmosphere then, during the Euro 2012 championship! Such was not, neither before nor after. And I would like to live in such an atmosphere constantly.

If I had more time I would have demolished the Olympic stadium and built a new one, no worse than the home stadium of Arsenal in London.

Rather than proud? Airports, also built or reconstructed for Euro 2012. After all, at the beginning of the preparation for the tournament in Ukraine was not a single airport (including Boryspil) in the Western sense of the word. And bring our airports, including private ones, in order of cost, frankly, superhuman effort.

It was especially difficult with the Lviv stadium. In fact there was, in fact, some pegs… In UEFA there is a gradation in the degree of their readiness for the games: red, yellow, green. So for Lviv stadium these colors did not fit at all, it is “painted” in black… And offered all games in Lviv transferred to other stadiums. But we did not agree and the joint efforts of all built and handed over on time stadium.

As for the Hyundai trains, I have heard about them, really, a lot of criticism. However, we must remember that this Corporation is unique in the world, which took 15-17 months to build trains for broad gauge (for comparison, a project of the Siemens Sapsan took in Russia 5 years). And their introduction in Ukraine I had 5 weeks! In mid-April came the train to Odessa, and on 27 may worldwide, the Internet is already sold tickets for their flights. And for 20-25 dollars to 700 km, while in the West it costs 5-7 times more expensive.
Yes, the first was design flaws associated with our weather conditions in the winter. But mostly it was all the same information attack, the hype, and some of our party members holding high positions. But, interestingly, cost me from the Cabinet to go to Parliament as the trains stopped to break…

For real problems, I once apologized to all passengers. But the trains are already running in its sixth year and brought undeniable benefits.

— Traditional question at the end of the interview: your hobby today?

— Hobbies I have not changed for many years. This is football and hockey. With the football club “Shakhtar” since my childhood, from 1971 to 1992, never missed one home match. But my first trip was in 1978 in the USSR Cup final between Shakhtar and Dynamo (Kyiv). I was in the 9th grade, but I remember that game so far… Also since childhood, I love hockey. You know, now heading the hockey club “Donbass”, which has achieved, in my opinion, a very impressive, including international successes. But inside the country, beginning in 2010, we won five Ukrainian Championships.