Ukrainian Parliament designates Christmas, Easter as holidays

Supreme Soviet concludes session

KIEV - The Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR adjourned its second session here on December 26 by adopting a law making Christmas, Easter and the Feast of the Holy Trinity legal holidays in the republic.

The measure had been introduced by deputies of the democratic bloc who acted on a request by both the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, reported the Respublika news agency.

Leonid Kravchuk, chairman of the Supreme Soviet, took the occasion to express best wishes to all faithful in Ukraine.

Similar measures making Christmas a legal holiday were reportedly passed in both the Volhynia and Lviv oblasts.

Also on the final day of the Parliament session, deputies approved a proposal that will decrease Ukraine's contribution of certain foodstuffs to the all-union supply. Perhaps most significant is the fact that meat products delivered by Ukraine to all-union authorities will decrease from 570,000 to 370,000 tons.

The Parliament is to resume its work on February 1, 1991, after the New Year and Christmas holidays.

During its second session, which was convened on October 1, Ukraine's Parliament discussed proposals for a law on ownership, a law on budget and finances, and the concept of a union treaty as proposed by Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

As well, the Parliament completed discussions of a law on introducing changes and amendments to the constitution and created a Constitutional Commission that will prepare a draft of a new republican constitution. The 50-member body is chaired by Mr. Kravchuk.

Also during the session, the Parliament brought articles of the Ukrainian SSR Constitution into line with the July 16 Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine. One of the most notable changes was the deletion of Article 6 which provides for the leading role of the Communist Party.

In economic matters, the Parliament heard the new prime minister, Vitold Fokin, announce plans to increase development of the consumer goods industry, reduce economic contributions to Moscow and transfer control over almost all enterprises to republican government control.

The prime minister also reported to Parliament that Ukraine will have a deficit of 11.9 billion rubles in 1991. However, that deficit could be substantially reduced, he noted, through republican control of all enterprises, including the coal mining and metallurgical industries.

Mr. Fokin also said that he foresees introduction of a Ukrainian currency.

Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, December 30, 1990, No. 52, Vol. LVIII

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