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    MINISTER YUZHANOV CALLS TO HELP MIDDLE CLASS

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    MOSCOW, February 4 (RIA Novosti corr. Elena Fyodorova) - The head of Russia's ministry for antimonopoly policy and support of entrepreneurship (MAP), Ilya Yuzhanov said the state must help people who consider themselves to be middle class.

    The development of small and medium business is impeded by red tape and corruption. "Red tape and corruption should be burnt out with red-hot iron," Yuzhanov said while speaking Wednesday at a German-Russian forum on small and medium business in Moscow.

    Speaking about the taxation system, he said, "A lot has been done but the specific legislation for small business is lagging behind." Besides, in the minister's words, access to financial resources is difficult for small business in Russia.

    According to the antimonopoly minister, the share of small business in the GDP is 12.5% in the country in general.

    Yuzhanov thanked the leaders of the German program "Transform" to contribute to economic reforms in Russia, within whose framework the project called "Improvement of the activity of institutions to support small entrepreneurship" has been implemented since September 2003. In accordance with this project, German experts work on a permanent basis in the Russian ministry for antimonopoly policy and support of entrepreneurship.

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