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FORMER SOVIET UNION

Lithuania. It is not yet clear whether this arrangement is acceptable to the other republics.

In 1973, the U.S.S.R. acceded to the Universal Copyright Convention. Since then, works enjoyed copyright protection throughout the Soviet Union. During 1991, foreign authors and publishers could negotiate publication contracts with Soviet publishing houses. Prior to accession to the Convention, there were instances of unauthorized publication of Soviet works abroad.

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Congress approved the U.S.-Soviet Trade Agreement in November 1991. This agreement offers strong intellectual property rights protection by reaffirming commitments to the Paris Convention and the Universal Copyright Convention. It would have obligated the Soviet Union to introduce legislation to provide for adherence to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and copyright protection for computer software, data bases and sound recordings. The Agreement would have also provided for product and process patent protection for nearly all areas of the technology and extended comprehensive coverage to trade secrets. However, the Soviet Union ceased to exist before the Supreme Soviet was able to ratify the agreement.

Thus, by the end of 1991, adequate and effective protection of copyrights still did not exist in the former Soviet Union. The independent republics which made up the former Soviet Union appear to be prepared to assume responsibility for intellectual property rights but lack the experience to deal with complex IPR issues, the legal framework and the administrative infrastructure required for effective enforcement. The establishment of adequate copyright protection throughout the entire territory of the former Soviet Union is likely to take some time.

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The right of workers to form and join unions of their own choosing showed little change in 1991. Although a December 1990 law made independent unions equal before the law with official unions, official unions retained inherent advantages arising from close links with enterprise directors and exclusive control over workers' vacations, recreational facilities, and other social benefits. Independent labor leaders considered the official trade union control of social functions usually performed by the state as the greatest obstacle to the growth of true, independent trade unions in the U.S.S.R. Attempts during 1991 by the independent unions to break this monopoly had little effect.

Independent labor activists reported that throughout 1991 enterprise directors, together with local government officials, police and judicial authorities applied various forms of pressure on workers who attempted to exercise their right to form and join unions. Notwithstanding the obstacles, the independent workers' movement continued to grow impressively, gaining strength in several regions and sectors

FORMER SOVIET UNION

where it previously had been weak or absent altogether. The nine-week miners' strike in March and April found support in some areas of Byelarus, long considered a bastion of Communist Party stability. Although there were reports of workers forming local independent unions in many areas of the country, the coal miners in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine and Kuzbas region of western Siberia represent the largest and most potent centers of independent organized labor in the former Soviet Union.

The U.S.S.R. formally established the right to strike in 1989, but both the Soviet and Ukrainian governments issued strike bans in the spring of 1991. Independent labor activists noted, however, that since the failed August coup, persecution of labor activists appears to have become a localized rather than systemic problem.

b.

The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

Soviet authorities had revealed a reluctant willingness to deal with the independent labor movements. Although the government in July 1990 had conceded the Independent Union of Miners (NPG) the right to conclude wage agreements with the central government, the union resorted to another strike in March 1991 after failing to get the Government to the bargaining table. Following the 1991 strike, the Government again granted the NPG the right to negotiate on behalf of its members. However, enterprise directors often refuse to negotiate with independent unions. Outside the mining and air transport industry, the vast majority of Soviet workers still had to rely on the official unions and factory and enterprise work collective councils to express their interests. Many workers felt these representatives inadequately defended them, since they tended to side with management.

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Soviet law had contained no prohibition on forced or compulsory labor, although a "Declaration of Human Rights and Liberties" adopted by the Union Congress of People's Deputies in September 1991 expressly forbids it. Convicted criminals, including those confined for political offenses, were commonly forced to work, often under very difficult conditions and for minimal wages. Labor camp prisoners were widely known to be the main labor force for the Soviet lumber industry. Inmates at some correctional labor colonies struck over harsh work conditions.

d.

Minimum Age for Employment of Children

Soviet law had established a statutory minimum age for employment of sixteen. Widespread reports appeared of child labor in the Central Asian republics.

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The bottom rung of the official pay scales for each industry served, in effect, as an administrative minimum wage. Soviet reform plans called for the establishment of minimum wages, usually republic by republic, but by the end of 1991 these had not been legislated.

FORMER SOVIET UNION

The Soviet Labor Code set a limit of 41 hours to be worked per week. However, in practice, workweeks can range from considerably less than this to considerably more, depending on local circumstances. Officially, workers receive other benefits in addition to their wages, such as heavily subsidized prices for basic goods and foodstuffs in state stores. However, the value of this benefit was eroded by growing shortages of basic consumer goods and food in state stores, as prices on the open markets climbed weekly.

Soviet law established minimum conditions of workplace safety and worker health. However, these conditions are generally ignored, and no effective enforcement mechanisms exist. Workplace safety issues emerged as major issues in the miners' strikes, among airline pilots and air traffic controllers and in the armed forces.

f.

Rights in Sectors with U.S. Investment

In early 1987, the Soviet Union allowed direct foreign investment for the first time. Over 3000 joint ventures were reportedly signed by early 1991, including about 250 with U.S. companies. Total U.S. investment is estimated at $360 million. Because of the increasing devolution of power to republics, hard investment data is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. Compared to the scale of the goods-producing sectors in the former Soviet economy, total U.S. direct investment is relatively insignificant.

Extent of U.S. Investment in Goods Producing Sectors

No sector by sector data is available on U.s. investment in the (former) Soviet Union.

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Spain continues to experience good investment-led growth as part of the economic upturn which began in 1985. In 1991, the rate of growth will slow to 2.5 percent from 3.7 percent in 1990, as a result of the weaker international economy and a high interest policy implemented since mid-1989 to curb inflationary pressures. The goal of Spanish policy is to

SPAIN

foster a competitive economy in the context of the European Community (EC) Single Market with the eventual goal of approaching EC averages on per-capita income.

Spain's 1986 accession to the EC established the framework for the present economic expansion. EC membership has required Spain to open its economy, modernize its industrial base, improve infrastructure, and revise economic legislation to conform to EC guidelines. With Spain firmly anchored in the EC, foreign investors, principally from other EC countries, have brought into Spain over $50 billion since the EC accession.

The principal challenge for Spain in the 1990's will be to adapt to the EC Single Market. Spain's overall competitiveness has suffered in recent years, principally due to inflation levels which continue to exceed EC averages and wage increases above productivity gains. With the peseta linked to other EC currencies via the European Monetary System (EMS), above average inflation leads immediately to a decline in competitiveness of Spanish goods and services.

The main source of inflationary pressure is the fiscal deficit, which will be about 2.0 percent of GDP in 1991. From the period 1986-90, Spain was able to increase both social and public infrastructure spending, due to a rapidly expanding tax base following the introduction of a value-added tax. Starting in mid-1991, public works spending was sharply curtailed because of the need to cut the deficit, and in the face of growing social program coverage and expenditures.

From mid-1989 until February 1991, the Bank of Spain maintained a high interest rate policy as the principal measure to combat inflation. While the policy had success in reducing inflation, the high yields attracted foreign capital, leading to an appreciation of the peseta. The appreciation of the peseta was also one factor in the decline in competitiveness.

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Spain joined the EMS in mid-1989, and was given a "wide band" of plus or minus six percent around the peseta's central peg to the ECU. With high interest rates, the peseta has remained five to six percent above the central peg, and in the first quarter of the year frequently bumped up against the ceiling. One condition for eventual entry into a common European currency will be to move the peseta within the "narrow band," plus or minus 2.5 percent of the central peg. To do so, Spain will have to reduce the interest rate spread with other EMS currencies.

The Government of Spain has lifted all significant foreign exchange controls for businesses, and it has announced that remaining controls, for businesses and individuals alike, will be lifted effective February 1, 1992.

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Spain's Treaty of Accession to the EC requires it to open

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