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44% of Russians really dislike businessmen
44% of Russians really dislike businessmen, the daily Noviye Izvestiya reported Wednesday. This was the finding of a recent poll conducted by the Levada Center. The main reason businessmen are so unpopular is that they do not pay taxes. Experts say that society's dislike of the business community is unhealthy. However, businessmen have almost as many supporters as they do opponents: 43% of those interviewed said their activities benefited Russia. A separate poll revealed attitudes to the tax optimization schemes that were very popular in the 1990s. Of those surveyed, 25% said there was nothing wrong with them, and 62% said these schemes deceived the state. Moreover, 64% believe that all businessmen are dishonest. This poll has been conducted for the last five years, and the results are always similar. Irina Palilova, an analyst for Levada Center, said that most respondents barely knew what "tax optimization" schemes were. They did not know how they worked, or why they were used, or whether they were bad for the state. The media frequently reports on this issue and society forms its views on the basis of the opinions expressed in the media. And as the propaganda machine is working effectively, experts expect the results of the poll to remain unchanged next year. Yuri Korgunyuk, an expert from Indem Fund, says that the 25% who do not consider "tax optimization" to be fraud, are the people whose taxes form the budget. And the 62% who think that these schemes are dishonest are people who have never come up against the problem of tax payment, as they are ordinary hired workers and public sector employees. "At present we have a situation whereby 25% of the population feeds 60%, and in return all they get is mistrust and hatred." He added that this could hardly be good for society
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