Faced with the coronavirus, Vladimir Putin decrees next week unemployed

The week of March 30 will be idle in Russia, to slow the progress of the coronavirus pandemic. This was announced by President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, adding that the popular vote scheduled for April 22 on his constitutional reform was postponed.

In a rare speech to the nation on Wednesday, March 25, Vladimir Putin announced the postponement of the popular vote scheduled for April 22 on his constitutional reform, and declared the week of March 30 unemployed in Russia, in order to slow the progress of the coronavirus pandemic.

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“I consider that the vote should be postponed to a later date,” he said in the televised speech. The “popular vote” on the constitutional reform was to give Vladimir Putin the possibility of remaining potentially in power until 2036 by allowing him to carry out two additional mandates after the end of the current one in 2024.

“We are seeing how the coronavirus epidemic is growing around the world. In many countries, the number of cases continues to grow, the global economy is threatened,” he said. “The top priority for us is the health, life and safety of people. So I think the vote should be postponed to a later date,” he added, without giving further details.

“Stay at home”

Asking the Russians to exercise “discipline” and “responsibility”, he called on them to “stay at home”. Without ordering it, as is the case for the majority of the three billion people confined to the planet. Hospitals, pharmacies, banks, government offices, food stores and transportation will also continue to operate.

“What is happening today in many western countries, both in Europe and abroad, may become our immediate future,” he warned.

The last speech of this type from Vladimir Putin dates back to the summer of 2018 and concerned a decried reform of the pension system, which had undermined its popularity. Otherwise, the president traditionally only makes one televised speech per year, on December 31, to present his wishes to the country.

The number of officially established cases in Russia has continued to increase rapidly, although it is still low compared to Western Europe. From 495 patients detected on Tuesday, Russia increased to 658 on Wednesday.

With AFP

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