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BULLETINS INFOFOCUS № 3

E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 3, 2010 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)

Content:

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

3.1. What was it?
3.2. In search for the one to blame in the corruption chain
3.3. Substitution of Venezuela for Honduras
4. Economics
4.1. A not high, but stable optimism
4.2. Liberalization as the absence of choice
4.3. It is time to have tea
5. Finances
5.1. Internal problems of the external debt
6. Our forecast for April
7. From the IISEPS desktop

Introduction:

Dear readers!

 

In the March forecast we paid attention to the media passivity of the head of state which was obviously caused by his perplexity in the face of the unexpected oil problem. The pause had evidently taken longer than planned, and, in our opinion, during the last month of the first quarter A. Lukashenko’s return into his habitual role of the country’s main newsmaker was to be expected, and this is exactly what happened. The successful visit to Venezuela contributed largely to it. The first tanker with Venezuelan oil is to arrive in Odessa already in May. Life is going on. The electoral rating is stable and nothing more is required for distributing public clips on the back of the heads among the subordinates and for expressing new accusations towards Russia.
An answer to the “provocation” of the National TV and Radio Company’s chairman A. Zimovsky concerning the absence of a state ideology was also received in March. Staff ideologists, who, by the way, had conducted another republican seminar in March, did not respond to such a serious accusation. The “instigator” himself explained his own courage to a reporter of “Belgazeta” by saying that he had fulfilled a personal commission of the president. The impression is that on the threshold of the presidential elections the authorities are going to try to conduct two informational campaigns: one-for their supporters, the other – for opponents, and that Mr. Zimovsky has been charged with heading of the second campaign.
On March, 14 A. Lukashenko signed Decree N 153 abrogating customs duties on petrochemical products exported from Belarus. It looks as if all the problems were now removed for the Belarusian oil processors on the legislative level. The time has come to calculate the losses, and Belstat is busying itself exactly with doing it. We have not heard, however, any realistic assessments of the prospects of Belarusian economy in this connection, contrary to the forecast of the members of the government, although talks about salaries equaling $ 500 have abated, too. Thus, certain soul-searching has nevertheless begun in the government.
On the other hand, our forecast concerning the public attitudes trend change proved to be entirely correct. The accretion of positive attitudes has ceased, and the expectations’ index, the most “sensitive” one among its fellows, has visibly decreased (from 19 to 10.5). It is undoubtedly too early to talk about a tendency in the society completely new in essence. No cardinal changes for the worse have occurred in the economy. The presidential elections are ahead and the authorities will try to do everything in order not to lower the level of their electorate’s additional fertilizing. However, as S. Loren used to say in a famous Italian movie: “Doctor, he does have the desire, but…”

IISEPS executive board

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