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BULLETINS INFOFOCUS № 7

E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 7, 2009 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)

Content:

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

3.1. 1082 blemishes in the union relationship
4. Economics
4.1. The “unheard-of generosity” show
4.2. Russians are putting by for a “rainy day”
4.3. Switching over to pasta
4.4. The “teaspoon” effect
5. Finances
5.1. Technology of success
5.2. The main banker’s optimism
6. Good news
7. Our forecast for August

Introduction:

Dear readers!

 

We had evidently exaggerated the desire of Europe to promptly respond to financial requests. Information that “proper services of the European Commission were considering Belarus request as regards getting the macro-financial aid from the European Union” was received already on July, 1. It was voiced by J. E. Holzapfel, head of the European Commission representative office in Minsk. A month had passed, but neither the date for consideration of the request, nor the prospective sum was voiced.
All what Europe managed to help with in July was a $ 30 mln loan issued by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for the OJSC “Gazprom” for the purpose of financing small and medium business in Belarus.
However, our forecast concerning the prospects of the Russian loan proved to be accurate. Just as we had supposed, the matter did not move beyond the talks, and the talks carried “positive for Belarus information”. All those on the Russian part who were supposed to (the top-officials of the Ministry of Finance, the Russian Federation ambassador in Belarus A. Surikov) made reassuring statements. The work is being continued, no cardinal changes had occurred in “our relationship”. The core Belarusian officials did not lose the optimism befitting their rank, either. Here is only one quotation borrowed by us from Minister of Finance A. Kharkovets: “We count on this money this year. It is included in the program of Belarus with the IMF”.
In the first half year, just as we had supposed, the Belarusian statistics reported a GDP growth. The growth, however, proved to be rather relative – 0.3%. One should not forget that there was unrealized produce in the warehouses for 7.3 trillion rubles (about $ 2.5 bln). However, even such a growth means a drop in the GDP in the second quarter relative to the first one. It is understandable that the authorities had been keeping away from the fact for the whole month, and the majority of the independent analysts did not pay attention to it. They should have done it, though. The second quarter of 2009 drew a line under “the epoch” of the economic growth, which had been continuing for 52 quarters in succession.
The GDP growth exactly is the principal efficiency proof of “the Belarusian economic development model”. A state ideology was formed on the faith in its stability, and its own developers fell victim to it. The deepening economic crisis did not at all influence the faith so far. The policy “we only have to hold out for a day and to stand for a night” which blocks any attempts to reconsider what is going on, follows from here. The presidential administration and the government work on the principle of a fire brigade. In July they directed their main efforts at the reduction of the warehouse inventory; in August, to all appearances, they will switch over to harvesting and later the time for another showdown with “Gazprom” may well come.

IISEPS executive board

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