A plebiscite postponed and a week without work: Putin’s address to the people, in brief
The top priorities for us are the health and lives of citizens. We have plugged all possible solutions and resources into our aid and prevention system, and I ask all citizens to take recommendations from doctors and government agencies seriously. You know how seriously I am taking the plebiscite on constitutional amendments, but it must be postponed to a later date. To decide exactly what date, we will rely on the professional opinions of our doctors. The week from March 30 to April 5 will be a week of paid leave. We absolutely must follow recommendations regarding the coronavirus; we must be responsible. And we must stay home. Let’s not place our hopes on our Russian avos’ [a word and cultural concept signaling that a highly unlikely hope or plan will somehow hold together]. In terms of economic measures, we will automatically extend all social welfare payments and benefits for half a year, increase unemployment payments, provide credit holidays for all those who will lose income, postpone credit payment dates for small and mid-sized businesses, and place an additional tax on dividends to foreign investors. All of these measures will work if we show cohesion and if the government and society work together. Let’s remember our responsibility to our loved ones.
Cover photo: Sergey Ilnitssky / EPA / Scanpix / LETA