The problem of student privileges was solved amazingly fast on April 1.
The President ordered the Cabinet of Ministers to restore the perks for
students and schoolchildren that had been abolished earlier.
Such quick action (especially considering the years of fruitless attempts
by miners, teachers, and pensioners to get not privileges but the money
legally due them) compels one to conclude that the President is playing
good cop-bad cop with an eye to the coming elections.
The Cabinet is cast in the role of bad cop for "caving in" to the IMF
and stripping poor students of their privileges, while the President restores
them, thereby showing his concern for "Ukraine's future." Such generosity
will not affect the budget, for it already includes funds to pay for the
privileges being restored. Moreover, as Chairperson of the State Committee
on the Family and Youth Valentyna Dovzhenko states, 50% of the cost of
student tickets will be transferred from the budget of the Education Ministry
directly to the State Administration for Rail Transport. Since any augmenting
the Education Ministry's budget is not foreseen, one may assume that the
railroads will simply follow usual practice and raise fares.