Friday, March 21, 2014

The Honeymoon Is Over: Ukraine To Stun Citizens With 40% Gas Price Hike

Zero Hedge
March 20, 2014

Marie Antoinette_0
Back in 2011, when as part of the Arab Spring one after another regime were toppled in North Africa following violent coups, not without substantial support by the US foreign service and the CIA, the local population was delighted – after all there is nothing quite like the specter of Hope and Change to lift one’s mood, and murder the reigning dictator. Unfortunately, what is usually not discussed, is that within a very brief period of time, usually within a year or two, the post-coup nations promptly reverted to violence and kicked out the ascendent coupy rulers themselves. Hardly new, this is process has been observed in history throughout time, most notably with the French revolution, where the concept of the Thermidorian Reaction was first penned. Most recently, this was best captured by events in Egypt in the past year, when the Hillary Clinton-blessed regime of Morsi was toppled last summer with even more violent witchhunts organized against its Muslim Brotherhood supporters. No wonder one hardly hears a peep about this particular US success story.

So where should we look for the next such process? Why in Ukraine of course. Only right now the general population is still in its euphoric Hope and Change phase. Understandable – the evil regime has been toppled and the new and pure (even though in reality they are just as corrupt as the old ones) politicians are in charge, so why not look to the future with rose-colored sunglasses?

Alas, Ukraine’s honeymoon period with its new rulers may end far sooner that most expect, and it will be certainly accelerated with news such as this. A few hours ago, Interfax reported that Ukraine expects to increase domestic gas prices by 40% once discounted import prices from Russia expire, the country’s Energy Minister Yury Prodan told journalists in the European Parliament on Thursday.
Just as we warned a few weeks ago when we were discussing the creeping capital controls gripping the crisis-riddled country with the foundering currency and its rapidly depleting reserves, the first thing that usually happens, with or without foreign aid, is runaway inflation. And a 40% jump in one of the core staples will certainly dent much of the quite brief and tenuous hope and change the population may have had as a result of recent events. Because once the downstream effects of nat gas funnel through the economy, we wouldn’t be surprised if Ukraine ends up with hyperinflation of all goods and services within the year.

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