Victor Yushchenko has asked Ukraine’s parliament to pass eight social bills, according to the President`s press-office.

      Oleksandr Shlapak, his first deputy chief of staff, said, “The President decided to propose these eight urgent bills because he thinks they are very important and demands that lawmakers consider them within the next thirty days.”

      The bills are designed to support the most unprotected social groups, among them minors that come from poor families raising three or more children, victims of political repressions and those who cannot afford to buy an apartment or pay their utility bills.

      The President suggests that the government provide financial aid to children coming from poor families with three or more offspring until they turn 18 or graduate from a higher education establishment.

      He wants the cabinet of ministers to pay subsidies to those wishing to buy an apartment and introduce more transparent land allotment procedures to develop social housing. One of his bills makes public utilities install individual energy meters by January 1, 2008 to know exactly how much water, electricity and gas is consumed, and stipulates that people can pay an average price for energy if their local utilities fail to install these meters. He also asks lawmakers to ban the confiscation of private property for utility debts.

      Yushchenko’s two other bills are aimed at preventing iodine deficiency disorders and diseases, and criminalizing the production, distribution and sale of low-quality drugs.

      He also demands that Ukrainian legislators repeal some of their unreasonable privileges, like free education, transport tickets, parking and apartments. He believes the measure will help find additional budget funds to implement social programs.