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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

13 UZBEK REFUGEES RETURN HOME FROM UKRAINE. A group of 13 Uzbek refugees who fled their homeland after the May 2005 unrest in Andijon have returned home from Ukraine even though they apparently received approval for relocation to Sweden, Interfax reported on December 30, quoting an unnamed source in Uzbek law enforcement. Their return brings to 66 the number of Uzbek refugees who have gone home. A total of 439 Uzbek asylum seekers were airlifted out of Kyrgyzstan in 2005. DK

MACEDONIA ADOPTS FLAT TAX. In a move Skopje hopes will attract investment, Macedonia implemented a flat tax on January 1, Focus reported the same day. Income tax for individuals was set at 12 percent. Corporate tax rates were also reduced from 15 percent to 12 percent. Both individual income tax and corporate tax rates are set to be lowered to 10 percent on January 1, 2008. Flat-tax systems have become increasingly popular among former communist countries in Europe. In addition to Macedonia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Georgia, and Romania have all replaced traditional progressive income-tax systems with a flat tax. BW