Ukraine economy in deep trouble

BBC News, Tuesday 25 April 2000, 13:37 GMT 14:37 UK

The International Labour Office has warned that Ukraine faces a deepening economic crisis.

In a highly critical report, the ILO says that the average monthly income is well below United Nations poverty levels and that firms are operating at less than half their capacity, with most not able to pay their workers regularly.

The ILO says such figures make a mockery of the Ukrainian government's claim that the unemployment rate is only five per cent.

It also says there has been a marked increase in the suicide rate caused by stress-related diseases.

The ILO calls on Ukraine to restructure its labour market as the only way to halt its economic decline.