Having scored early successes with his ruble-stablilization program, Russian President Boris Yeltsin is pressing ahead with a riskier Phase II of economic reforms. By Apr. 15, he will hit already reeling consumers by freeing the prices of bread, milk, and vodka. He will also decontrol oil and coal prices--a move that will jolt industry, whose output has already plunged roughly 20% since January. Businesses are beginning to send workers home on unplanned vacations, and some economists predict that unemployment could rise to 10 million by yearend from less than a million now. But Yeltsin hopes another dose of strong medicine will be rewarded with big loans from the International Monetary Fund later this year.
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