Friday, July 07, 2006

The Love of Money...that dare not speak its name

In Russia:

Russia’s lower house of parliament passed in second reading Friday a bill that would ban lawmakers and other officials from using the terms “dollar” and “euro” in domestic economic debates, the RIA Novosti news agency reports.

“When speaking in public, including to the media, members of the government must not use foreign currency terms ... to give information about the cost of goods, work, services, property, the sums of closed deals, budget indexes at any level of the Russian budget system, state and municipal borrowings, or state and municipal debts,” the bill said.

....Following parliament’s first initiatives to promote the national currency, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said the government was unlikely to look on the bill favorably, adding that customs statistics and duties in Russia had been fixed in euros and its foreign debt was counted in foreign currency.

Kudrin rubbished the original idea, saying it would be ridiculous to talk about global economic matters in rubles. “This issue is absolutely unreasonable and absolutely absurd in its current form,” he said in May.

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