News

DATE=12/30/97

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-224632

TITLE=RUSSIA / RUBLE  (L ONLY)

BYLINE=PETER HEINLEIN

DATELINE=MOSCOW

CONTENT=

 

VOICED AT: 



INTRO:  THE NEW YEAR MEANS NEW MONEY FOR RUSSIANS.  RUBLE NOTES 

WHICH GO INTO CIRCULATION AFTER THE FIRST OF JANUARY WILL HAVE 

THREE FEWER ZEROS -- MEANING THAT SIX RUBLES WILL EQUAL ONE 

DOLLAR INSTEAD OF THE CURRENT SIX-THOUSAND.  V-O-A MOSCOW 

CORRESPONDENT PETER HEINLEIN REPORTS RUSSIANS, STUNG BY PAST 

MONETARY REFORMS, APPEAR TO BE TAKING THIS ONE CALMLY.   



TEXT:  RUSSIANS HAVE GOOD REASON TO FEAR CHANGES IN THEIR MONEY. 

FOUR TIMES IN THE PAST 50 YEARS, TWICE THIS DECADE, THEY HAVE 

BEEN HURT BY CURRENCY REFORMS.  TO MANY, REFORM HAS BEEN LITTLE 

MORE THAN A CODE PHRASE MEANING LESS MONEY FOR THE AVERAGE 

CITIZEN. 



///  OPT  ///  EVERY RUSSIAN KNOWS STORIES OF PEOPLE LOSING THEIR

LIFE SAVINGS IN PAST CURRENCY EXCHANGES.  ///  END OPT  ///



THIS TIME, HOWEVER, THE GOVERNMENT HAS TRIED TO PERSUADE A WARY 

PUBLIC THINGS WILL BE DIFFERENT.  WHEN PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN 

ANNOUNCED A RUBLE REVALUATION MORE THAN FOUR MONTHS AGO, HE 

PLEDGED TO PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF AVERAGE RUSSIANS.



         ///  YELTSIN ACT - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER  ///



MR. YELTSIN SAID, "OVER THE PAST 50 YEARS, EVERYTHING RELATED  TO

MONEY REFORMS HAS BEEN A BLOW TO THE COMMON PEOPLE HERE.  THIS 

TIME, IT WILL  NOT  HAPPEN, HE SAID, AS PRESIDENT, I GUARANTEE 

IT.



///  OPT  ///  HE DESCRIBED THE REFORM AS A WAY TO MAKE LIFE 

EASIER BY GETTING RID OF UNNEEDED ZEROS ADDED TO THE RUBLE BY 

INFLATION.



    ///  OPT  //  YELTSIN ACT - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER  ///



HE SAID. "BEGINNING IN JANUARY, WE WILL HAVE TO PAY ONLY ONE 

RUBLE FOR AN ITEM WITH A ONE-THOUSAND RUBLE PRICE TAG ON IT.  ///

END OPT  ///



IN A FURTHER ATTEMPT TO CALM PUBLIC OPINION, THE GOVERNMENT 

LAUNCHED AN ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN USING WELL-KNOWN STAGE AND 

SCREEN STARS.



        ///  AHROSEVA ACT - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER  ///



THE SOOTHING VOICE OF ACTRESS OLGA AHROSEVA TELLS TELEVISION 

VIEWERS SHE WAS WORRIED AT FIRST BECAUSE OF HER BAD EXPERIENCES  

IN THE PAST. B UT THIS TIME, SHE SAYS, SHE HAS THOUGHT CAREFULLY 

ABOUT IT, AND DECIDED SHE IS  NOT  AFRAID BECAUSE THERE WILL BE 

PLENTY OF TIME FOR PEOPLE TO CHANGE OLD NOTES FOR NEW.



THE CAMPAIGN APPEARS TO BE WORKING. A RANDOM POLL OF MUSCOVITES 

INDICATES WIDESPREAD SKEPTICISM, BUT  NOT  THE CYNICISM MANY HAD 

EXPECTED, GIVEN THE GOVERNMENT'S PAST RECORD.



         ///  POLUNIN ACT - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER  ///



A PENSIONER, 70-YEAR-OLD ALEXANDER POLUNIN, SAYS PEOPLE 

EVERYWHERE ARE SAYING "NO, PRICES WILL  NOT  GO UP."  THEN HE 

ADDED, I JUST HOPE WE WILL  NOT  BE DECEIVED.



CRITICS SAY THE CURRENCY REFORM IS A RECIPE FOR CHAOS THAT COULD 

FURTHER DEPRESS RUSSIA'S STRUGGLING ECONOMY.  EVEN SUPPORTERS 

THINK IT COULD TOUCH OFF ANOTHER ROUND OF INFLATION AS STORES 

ROUND UP PRICES TO THE NEXT HIGHEST RUBLE. 



BUT 69-YEAR OLD AVGUSTA TELEGINA SPOKE FOR MANY ORDINARY RUSSIANS

WHEN SHE SAID THAT TO HER, THE REFORMS ARE MEANINGLESS.



        ///  TELEGINA ACT - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER  ///



I DON'T FEEL ANYTHING, SHE SAID, NOTHING AT ALL.  FOR ONE, I 

DON'T HAVE ANY MONEY.



MANY MUSCOVITES EXPRESSED THE OPINION THAT ONLY THOSE WITH CASH 

STAND TO LOSE IN A CURRENCY REFORM.  AND RUSSIANS WITH MONEY, 

THEY SAY, ARE PROTECTING IT BY CONVERTING TO U-S DOLLARS DURING 

THIS TIME OF UNCERTAINTY. (SIGNED)



NEB/PFH/JWH



30-Dec-97 1:07 PM EST (1807 UTC)

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Source: Voice of America

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