NEWSWATCH: “Russian Village Resists Privatization Effort Championed by Putin. Locals, activists and lawmakers rally to prevent sale of century-old state-owned dairy plant.” – Wall Street Journal
The Russian government’s privatization drive soured in a village called Milk.
The dairy plant here that for more than a century has churned out Russia’s most-recognizable brand of butter was scheduled to be auctioned in mid-February, the latest target to raise cash for the budget.
But after locals, activists and lawmakers held rallies and petitioned President Vladimir Putin and other officials, the Kremlin cooled on the plan—a sign of the limited appetite for privatization among a public that remembers state assets being unloaded to insiders for a song in the 1990s. * * * The main complaint: Local or foreign investors wanting to make a quick buck would sell cheap products under the famous Vologda brand, lay off workers and close the dairy school linked to the plant.