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BULLETINS INFOFOCUS № 1

E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 1, 2011 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)

Content:

Introduction
1. Basic trends of January
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Politics

3.1. Sociology as a faith phenomenon
3.2. The problems of an unfriendly calf
3.3. Radical measures carte blanche
4. Economics
4.1. What to cover all the “holes” with?
4.2. The letter called to set out a journey
4.3. How to claim the unclaimed resources?
5. Finances
5.1. Automobilists were left holding the baby
6. Our forecast for February
7. From the IISEPS desktop

Introduction:

Dear readers!

The new development policy formed by the members of the top brass on December, 19 has not been exhausted for the last month. The reaction of Europe and the USA proved to be expected and in response to the reaction the Belarusian authorities promised to take adequate measures, or to put it in simpler words, “flew off the handle”. However, preparation of adequate measures did not cancel another placement of Eurobonds and did not bring to a close contacts with the IMF whose mission visited Belarus once again.
The topic of cost efficiency growth alongside with the “conspiracy” topic remained central in A. Lukashenko’s speeches. It is impossible to escape economy. It reminded of itself with another record value of the foreign trade negative balance. The main events of 2011 will unfold to all appearances around the struggle for its decrease.
As we mentioned in our January forecast, oil prices stimulated by the generosity of the Federal Reserve System continued their growth during the first month of the year. When the “Infofocus” was being prepared, Brent had exceeded the symbolic point of $ 100; at that the price difference between Brent – a low-gravity oil and Light – a more qualitative oil reached the historic maximum equaling $ 11. Low-gravity “European” oil turned out to be more expansive than high-gravity “American” oil! Behind this unnatural difference is the American government aspiring to reduce the costs of its industry and thus to avoid an economic collapse under the conditions of the sinking demand.
However, as G. Soros mentioned in Davos: “There is no alternative to the dollar that is why it is better to own raw materials”. A price advance for raw materials is profitable for Russia and, consequently, for Belarus. Thus, as long as another emissive program of the Federal Reserve System is operating, a favorable external context is ensured for the Belarusian economy for the first half of 2011.
Tough proposals of the European Parliament were predictable; and as for the Council, it confined itself to the framework of our forecast in its decision – approved an extended list of the Belarusian officials not permitted to travel abroad.
We estimated the probability of the Belarusian authorities’ “backward running” regarding the repressions as fifty-fifty. Certain steps in the direction of repressions lessening were made by the authorities in January (some people were released from the KGB pretrial detention center having given a written cognizance not to leave the country or under house arrest); however, on the whole the repression flywheel continued to spin.

IISEPS executive board

 
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