I. Metshin: "We will maintain the social and economic stability of our city"
Transcript of the TV program "Issue" on the "Efir" TV channel featuring the mayor of Kazan.
Moderator: Today's guest of our program is Mayor of Kazan Ilsur Metshin. Good evening, Ilsur Raisovich! A reporting session of Kazan City Duma was held yesterday. I would like to know what were last year's major successes in your opinion?
I.M.: Each statistic is dear to us because it is a result of team work, not only of the mayor and district administrations – that's what the city had lived for for a year. And yet, perhaps the main result was the demographic record which I am pleased to remind you about. For the fourth year in a row we had beaten a demographic record. 22 thousand 949 children were born last year. A lot of families added a second, third or fourth child. This was perhaps the most important result.
A.K.: In other words, since we have more kids, all is well in the city?
I.M.: No, it cannot be that good. There is day and night, warmth and cold. Of course, there are problems, but the growing birth rate is a good indicator that our young couples are looking confidently to the future.
A.K.: Ilsur Raisovich, are you not afraid that the current, rather difficult economic situation might somewhat dampen your optimism?
I.M.: Of course we must be realistic. In these difficult times we must realize what is happening in the country and the whole world. Adjustments should be made. Nevertheless, I never cease to be an optimist. I'm confident about our city and the republic, and today we are better prepared for all trials. We've been working long and very hard under the leadership of the president and the government of the Republic of Tatarstan. We have made serious investments in updating our industry, road infrastructure and social facilities. The safety margin is large enough.
Certainly, the crisis will not bypass anyone, we're well aware of it. We see growing food prices and make appropriate decisions. Measures are being taken to stabilize the market in medicines. The city has created an anti-crisis headquarters, which operates on a weekly basis, and I'm its chair. We are monitoring the situation in individual sectors, the prices and see where we can take preventive measures.
Not everything is bad though. I recently visited the Kazan Optical and Mechanical Plant. This Derbyshki city-forming enterprise has survived the hard times when there were no orders or market for its products. Now the company is looking confidently to the future; the plant is provided with orders for 2015-2016. The company is hiring new staff and needs 200 skilled personnel. The Kazan Helicopter Plant, "Kazanorgsintez" and "Nefis Cosmetics" and a number of other companies are also doing well. These are the companies whose executives seriously invested in the modernization of production in order to be competitive in the world market. I think that we are well prepared. Yes, one crisis is unlike another, but we certainly know how to deal with it. We have confidence that we will overcome current problems with dignity and maintain social and economic stability of our city.
A.K.: Ilsur Raisovich, a traditional spring-time issue is the state of the roads.
I.M.: Unfortunately, in a country that has such extreme temperatures the roads will always be a problem. We've had a lot of below zero temperatures this year. This is something that destroys roads. Today Tatarstan's president allocated one billion rubles for Kazan's road repair, for which we're very grateful to him. We hope to find additional funds on the eve of the World Aquatic Cup. We're expecting a large number of guests in July, and, God willing, we'll obtain enough money to bring an even greater number of roads up to standard.
A.K.: What about area improvement?
I.M.: There will be some innovations in this respect this year. We have previously worked on two programs – "The Green Record" and "Blossoming Kazan." We have planted 130,000 trees and 65,000 shrubs in the past three years. This is a serious figure. This year has its own features since our president has launched the Year of Parks and Gardens. We have prepared 32 projects, under which 32 large parks and gardens will be renovated.
A.K.: Let's talk about the kindergartens. Unfortunately, no meeting is complete without mentioning this problem...
I.M.: Fortunately – because it speaks of the number of children, the number of our young families who are in need of places in kindergartens. Fortunately – because today we know how to resolve this issue.
I'd like to remind you that four years ago in this very studio we made plans for the next five years. We said then, I remember it clearly, that we would build four kindergartens a year. And I hoped as mayor that we would build 20 kindergartens in five years. Within four years, we have built and put into operation 81 new kindergartens, including additional pre-schools and private playgroups. To date, the problem of three-year-olds has been resolved; there used to be 16 thousand kids on the waiting list, and we have provided kindergarten places for 15 thousand. This is a major breakthrough; not every city can boast of such an achievement.
A.K.: We're meeting on the eve of the spring holiday – March 8. I think, Ilsur Raisovich, we can already start greeting our beautiful ladies, looking straight into their eyes.
I.M.: We'd better first turn to our men: friends, let's do everything possible to ensure that every woman feels this holiday in her family. This is a celebration of our mothers, our better halves – wives, girlfriends, daughters and colleagues. Let's be gentlemen! It's not in the price or the size of a gift, it's the thought that counts. Let's be a city where every woman is surrounded by our attention, love and care. Let someone wake up half an hour earlier and prepare breakfast, or give up his bus seat, or just embrace her. Let's be the most gallant men, not only in the Volga region or Russia, but also beyond. It costs nothing as long as we wish to act this way.
I'd like to wish our beautiful, lovely women a happy spring holiday. Let the spring sun warm every home, may it be sunny in your heart and soul, may your children bring you joy, may your families be happy, may flowers bloom forever in your eyes, your hearts and around you. With all my heart I wish all of you a happy March 8!