Let Them Eat Promises

  • Share
  • Read Later
MOSCOW: What’s a guy got to do to get his paycheck around here? Miners who haven’t received theirs for eight months believe blockading the country’s key transport routes might help, which they’ve been doing all week. But Boris Yeltsin today scolded the miners for being unreasonable: "The strikers are unwilling to hear cool-headed arguments or reasonable explanations and want to have their problems resolved at once and at any cost," said Yeltsin.

Cool-headed arguments may be all Yeltsin has to offer. TIME Moscow bureau chief Paul Quinn-Judge reports that while the blockade is costing the cash-strapped country millions of dollars a day, the strong public sympathy for the strikers appears to preclude the use of force. “We’re seeing nationwide gut-level frustration at years and years of promises,” says Quinn-Judge. “But the government has no money.” The stock exchange is tumbling and no economic growth is expected this year. One possible boom sector: the nostalgia-for-communism industry.