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BULLETINS INFOFOCUS № 2

E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 2, 2014 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)

Content:

Introduction
1. Basic trends of February
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Politics
3.1. Deputies are future policy makers
3.2. Black will take no other hue
4. Economics
4.1. Negative consequences of cutting the QE program
4.2. The Olympics froze up the Russian ruble fall
4.3. Work teams contesting common economic mismanagement
5. Finances
5.1. Citizens sold more foreign currency than bought it
6. Our forecast for March
7. From the IISEPS desktop

Introduction:

Dear readers!
Events in Ukraine and around Ukraine reduced ratings of Belarusian news. Meanwhile life went on. Life has its own logic, and this logic, as we suggested it in the forecast for February, will intersect with the penal code more and more often. The brightest example of such intersections in February is the arrest of the chairman of the Belarusian Light Industry Concern “Bellegprom”. The Investigative Committee found out that the concern chairman and the chairman of the JSC “Slonim Worsted and Spinning Factory” were regularly given bribes. Presumably, bribes were offered to the officials for solutions to the issues of supplying equipment for modernization to the advantage of certain suppliers. Wood-working industry was not neglected as well: criminal cases for harming JSC “Vitebskdrev” were initiated by order of the head of state as was reported by Prosecutor General A. Konyuk on February, 7.
National Bank of Belarus did not join the “parade of devaluations” in February in full accordance with our forecast. But the grade of devaluation problem noticeably increased after the National Bank of Kazakhstan decided to stop maintaining the exchange rate of tenge at its previous level, to decrease the volume of currency interventions and to minimize interventions in the process of tenge’s exchange rate forming. This decision led to a devaluation of tenge by 19%. According to experts, thus Kazakhstan recovered Russian ruble weakening. Similar step wasn’t taken in Belarus, and this aggravated the problems of exporters.
Forming of precinct election commissions didn’t give a surprise. Only 23 representatives of oppositional parties were enrolled in the commissions (6.2% of submitted applications and 0.0003% of total number). 86.2% of pro-power candidates managed to overcome the attrition. It is hard to overestimate the role of election apparatus in the maintaining of political stability in Belarus. Despite the fact that the total number of people working in it is over 70,000, there were no serious failures in its work since 1996. It’s highly probable that there will be no failures during March elections of local councils’ deputies as well.
As for the opposition, at a time when political apathy of Belarusians is record high as registered in the December survey, the quarrelling between the advocates of boycott and supporters of taking part in the “electoral farce” lost its topicality even among the active guests of independent socio-political sites.
IISEPS executive board

 
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