Moscow government ready to buy AZLK car producer

Moscow is able and ready to buy the controlling stake in the AZLK carproducer in order to intensify its activities, Yevgeny Panteleyev, head ofthe department for science and industrial policy of the Moscow government,reported at a press conference today. However, he pointed out that theMoscow government would do this only if the debts of the company, existingsince the soviet times, were written off.The official said that the situation with the absence of governmentalresolutions on the AZLK issue was "absolutely abnormal". He mentioned thatthe controlling stake in the automobile producer was federal property; thegovernment has been refusing to privatize the company or to initiate thebankruptcy procedure. According to Panteleyev, there are over 1,500 largeand medium-sized companies in Moscow, 20-25 percent of them being in astate of crisis. The official stressed that a special anti-crisis programhad been developed in Moscow to help such companies. In 2001, over 100companies received financial aid, he said..

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