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New edition of Housing Code due in Belarus

Nicholas Maduro and Alexander Lukashenko traditionally performed one of the missions that a real man should do - plant a tree on the alley of guests of honor. Ahead we have an interesting story about the most interesting trees in Belarus. This topic was prompted by a meeting with the President in connection with the new edition of the Housing Code. Everything turned into sharp phrases on various topics related to order on the ground, construction of new houses, care for a small homeland... Yevgeny Pustovoi will continue the topic.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
Do we need to "invade" the Housing Code today?

A new version of the Housing Code is in the hands of the President. The topic is complex and urgent. It concerns all Belarusians and all relations: from economic to everyday ones.

Alexander Lukashenko:
If we put it simply I want to ask: will we create one document that will answer all citizens' questions? Our lawyers are so smart ... they first create a law or some other normative legal act and half a million subordinate acts. And this law is full of reference rules, which is inadmissible.

Alexander Lukashenko discusses all important documents openly. This is the demand of the President. The current Housing Code is still quite new. But now officials propose to upgrade the law saying that is has become outdate during the recent five years.

Alexander Terekhov, housing and communal services minister:
The kinds, the structure of the housing stock has changed, and a new concept of rental housing has been introduced. Today's edition of the Housing Code has absorbed all the changes that were implemented, tested in life and are now outlined in the new edition of the Housing Code.

The most vulnerable Belarusians, especially large families, should be protected from all sides. The President recalls them several times at the meeting. The sharpest question is affordable housing.

Alexander Lukashenko:
We must create all conditions and mechanisms to help people who need, first of all, to improve their living conditions. This direction is the most important component of Belarus' social policy. I think it will stay forever. The solution of the housing problem is one of the main indicators of the development of society. Housing is not just walls and a roof over your head. This is the place where a person, having come from work, can rest, stay with their family in a cozy and comfortable environment. The most important thing is the upbringing of children.

Two thirds of new homes to large families, a third to people on the so-called "waiting lists" and the remaining ten percent - to the military.

It is necessary to change the housing constitution but do it thoughtfully. The President is well acquainted with problems in housing and communal services. He reads about them, hears and even sees.

Alexander Lukashenko:
We agreed on the involvement in economic activity of various unfinished housing and so on. Even where I travel every day, every governor is trying to show how the work is going. But this work is not underway there actually. And this is happening in Minsk! Have we satisfied the demand in Minsk so much that they do not even want to take these premises for free? Then we need to do this. You know my demands. They are already defined in legislative acts, as far as I know. If not, Mitskevich will report to me. There are concrete terms, which are indicated in investment contracts. And for citizens. In the near future, starting from Minsk, we will check how these terms are observed. But even where I go every day I can call it "dismay."

The State Control Committee said it would check these cases.

Vera Matsulevich, Head of the Construction Control and Housing and Communal Services Department (Minsk) of the State Control Committee of the Republic of Belarus:
Following the results of the monitoring of the city, we noted that not all the objects are taken into account. After all, there are small enterprises that build large facilities. And under existing legislation, they are not required to report to statistics authorities, so the city did not take them into account.

There is another problem in regions outside of Minsk. Often investors are far away, abroad, but regional authorities cannot contact them.

Irina Likhtarovich, Head of the Economics Department of the Pruzhany District Executive Committee:
The investor is absent. Proceedings were held and the court decided that we could register this property without the other party.

In any case, by 2019, when Belarus will host the II European Games, the country should resemble a well-groomed football field.

Alexander Lukashenko:
In 2019, representatives of the whole world will come to Belarus. What will we show them? Starting from roads, bridges, junctions (this is the face of the country), fields adjacent to roads as well as entire cities and villages, about which we will talk today. Don't forget about sowing areas - everything should be in perfect condition.

Belarus has been trying to renovate old villages since 2006. The President demanded to quickly turn to the problem of specific people and solve them.

Alexander Lukashenko:
There must be order on the ground, in agriculture. Such buildings must be removed and the land must be used in our economy. This work should be speeded up on the ground and this regulatory act should regulate this too. If you own this dwelling, do it so that this house is in a normal state. Some live very far away in other countries but still own these houses, which they don't visit. This house is already covered with weeds and bent.

Bureaucratic red tape must be simplified, the financial burden must be reduced, but people should not be offended at the same time.

Alexander Lukashenko:
The mass media, no matter how close they are to you, are increasingly talking about scandals, ranging from Gomel to Minsk, when people protest against cutting down of trees. Instead of creating a park somewhere or put an existing park in order, you start to build more housing. Is there no place where to build housing? Is it necessary to conflict with the population? You yourself move into this house and live there and imagine someone builds a high-rise of 12 floors just in front of your window. Live there. Is it necessary to provoke conflicts?

Alexander Lukashenko is for an open dialogue with the people. Meetings, working trips, including for the sake of talking with Belarusians.

But sometimes local authorities undermine the state's authority. Look at this pit. The central Minsk street has become the central theme of the scandal in the media. People are fighting for trees but these trees are being cut down. The local authorities say that it was the order of the President's security service.

Alexander Lukashenko:
Do you want to undermine my authority? Think about what people will say. Did you plant these trees to cut them? Every person goes out to appreciate the beauty of these tries. No, let's saw them. Go to your house and cut a century-old tree and plant small a tree instead. Is there much use from that? It is necessary to stop this criminal activity!

The President called on people not to forget their roots and restore at least something in their native villages.

Alexander Lukashenko:
I have already invited those who want - not only rich people - not to forget their small homeland. If someone has the opportunity to tidy up their village by, say, rebuilding their own house there, let's do that!

St. Petersburg businessman Nikolai Burnos - a well-off man - invested in his native land more than $20 million. Now his son follows father's steps. He returned from England for the sake of this matter.

Andrei Burnos, investor's son:
It's not about money, it's something spiritual about him. He is a church man, he built a church for locals.

Even red tape, which hinders many investors, did not scare the Russian millionaire, who grew up in Belarusian wilderness.

Evgeny Pustovoi, political observer:
There is a common phrase with an ironic connotation: "he comes in the village, but the village never came out of his mind." But when the village remains in your heart, it turns out that such a beautiful landscape can be created. Instead of the usual village Lesnoye there is an agro-town, a real tourist paradise in the Pushcha wilds.

The President once again reminds the whole power vertical:

Alexander Lukashenko:
Pay attention to people a little! Otherwise we will all stiffen soon, which is already the case in some neighboring countries. The authorities are by themselves and people are by themselves too.

New edition of Housing Code due in Belarus