Oleksandr Shlapak, President Victor Yushchenko’s first deputy chief of staff and representative to the cabinet of ministers, has criticized the government for its social and security policies and said its performance and inability to preserve economic growth “cannot make anybody happy”, according to the President`s press-office.

Shlapak said on Thursday the country’s falling GDP and slowing industrial growth contradicted the government’s “boastful reports” and added that the cabinet of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych had no action plan. 

He said the country’s debt was growing (USD 15. 512 bln) and added that there was no need to take loans abroad, especially given the premier’s optimistic projections. He said Ukraine’s VAT debt was UAH 12.8 bln, calling the situation “critical” and describing it as a “powerful source of corruption.” He added that VAT was rebated disproportionately and hence non-transparently.

The government has also failed to ensure Ukraine has all the necessary documents to join the World Trade Organization and so the country’s accession has been put off again, he said. He also slammed the government for its inability to control inflation and cope with last week’s chemical spill in the Lviv region and this week’s tornadoes.

Shlapak demanded that the cabinet implement President Yushchenko’s new social policies “without additional talks” and urged the prime minister to sack the ministers whose “performance is inadequate to the scale of their duties.”