What the papers say - 4 August, 2003


Friday's terrorist attack in Mozdok (North Ossetia) left fifty people dead and 80 wounded. The paper notes that extremists have more than enough possibilities to commit such crimes and that security in Chechnya obviously has to be maintained. It is clearly evident that the terrorist threat will remain until the militant leaders are neutralised. Basayev is more often that not accused of being behind the bombings, while Rappani Khalilov is said to be the mastermind of a whole series of sabotage attacks in Daghestan. There is a certain level of incomprehension, the paper writes, as to just how Shamil Basayev has managed to hide in Chechnya's mountains for so long and from there carry out terrorist attacks that have claimed the lives of hundreds of peaceful citizens. The main questions now are the following: how did the explosive-laden truck manage to enter Mozdok? And, perhaps more importantly, how could a military hospital be bombed, as it is a strategic military facility?


The creation of grain markets in Russia has been delayed. Branch unions, dealers and regional authorities are thinking about how the appropriate mechanism for market grain trading can be installed, but rather than working in unison, they do so in individual groups. Accordingly, slow progress is being made and there is a lot of procrastination. If the Russian agricultural sector had a grain trading system, the paper stresses, then many problems could be eliminated, such as unjustified grain prices, lack of money for agricultural workers and a closed market. So far, grain markets in Russia are only a hypothetical prospect.


Russia is overtaking Poland in terms of advertising spending, the paper reports. For three years now, the Russian advertising market has seen annual growth of no less than 50%. Last year, after domestic market growth exceeded $2.6 billion, Russia, at last, caught up with the biggest Eastern European market, i.e. Poland. The paper predicts that in the next three yeas, the Russian advertising business will grow faster than any other in Eastern Europe, although growth rates will decline. This year the Russian market has increased by 32%, while forecasts for next year put the figure at about 23% and up to 16% in 2005. Advertisers have spent almost 4 billion dollars in Russia this year.


To all appearances, the European single currency will lose strength as the US economy improves, the paper writes, pointing out that the euro lost 3% on the exchange rates last week to hit the 1.127 dollar mark. This came about after forecasts for the American economy were re-adjusted. Investors claim that the US economy's restoration is natural. The country's GDP in the second quarter grew by 2.4%, two times more than expected. Capital is again starting to enter the USA. Investors are afraid of missing out on the coming stock market rally.


The Education Ministry has calculated which professions are needed on the Russian labour market. There is virtually no one in line at the job centre who has finished university in recent years. Statistics show that 90% of those who qualified in the metallurgical sphere find employment in their chosen field after graduating, while 88% of lawyers and social-sphere workers do, along with 68% of those in the communications, computing and hi-tech sphere, and 65% of transport specialists. Graduates of creative and sporting institutes find it hardest of all to get a job. Economists also have problems, as there are too many of them.

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