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BULLETINS INFOFOCUS № 2

E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 2, 2008 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)

Content:

Introduction
1. Basic trends of February
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Economics

3.1. A modern version of a Pushkin’s fairy tale
3.2. Wages are going to become unfastened
3.3. To enter the group of ten reformers and never come back
3.4. A master class in bringing in direct foreign investments
4. Finances
4.1. The motion trajectory of the consumer prices index
5. Politics
5.1. To friends openly
5.2. Our answer to lord Curzon
5.3. Two points of view at the same card
5.4. So who is driven into the corner?
5.5. The civil society from K. Marx Street
6. Good news
7. Our forecast for March

Introduction:

Dear readers!

 

As it was expected, the summit in Krasnaya Poliana did not satisfy the curiosity of the analytical community. One cannot seriously consider the statement by D. Medvedev (who had become the third president of Russia by the time the “Infofocus” was being prepared) that “we purchase equipment in Belarus. It is of good quality, and the price is competitive, too”, as a result of the summit meeting.
However, the expected account of the “younger” brother to the “older” one most likely was not given either. The mentioned conclusion is confirmed, first of all, by the survey results of the Analytical Informational Center under the Administration which were published already the next day after A. Lukashenko’s return to Minsk, and according to which only 3.4% of the polled supported the idea of becoming a part of the Russian Federation. Secondly, it is confirmed by the two appearances of the head of State (a lecture at Belarus State University, and an interview to the Russian informational agency “Novosty” (“News”) and the Moscow English-speaking TV channel “Russia Today”), in which the subject of Belarusian-Russian relations was paid considerable attention to. Yet, even with the help of a careful analysis, it was impossible to notice any defeatist intonations in them. On the contrary, readiness “to go into trenches and to die in dugouts”, and not to yield to “such blackmail” was announced once again. This readiness did not change the desire of Russia to support “the Belarusian economic model” in the future, which was confirmed by “Gazprom” that in due time transferred another $625 million in exchange for 12.5% of “Beltransgaz” stock.
As we expected, “administrative ecstasy” of Belarusian state officials did not cool off during February. In the economic part of the “Infofocus” we cite the impressions of the senior advisor on juridical questions of the International financial company in the Republic of Belarus V. Fadeev of his team-work with Belarusian officials. They are extremely positive, which once again confirms seriousness of the challenge Belarus has faced.
However, “the Belarusian economic model” would have changed itself, if the opposite (distributive) tendencies had not simultaneously become stronger. Let us quote a fragment of our February prognosis: “The struggle for state subsidies is going to be continued. In February one should expect another attempt of manufacturers of agricultural products to come to an agreement about the new purchase prices. We suppose, they will manage to do it, but in April and May”.
The new purchase prices were approved already in February. Moreover, the Ministry of Agricultural Products managed to approve the schedule of the “smooth” rise in prices for the whole year of 2008 (1.5-2.0% per month). Besides, in February some top officials of the Ministry of Economics came out with a basis of the necessity of the wages advance growth in comparison with the growth of the GDP. That is why our prognosis concerning strengthening of granting should be regarded as lasting a long time, and there is a high probability that it is going to come true.
As we predicted, protest activity of entrepreneurs passed its peak in January. Paragraph1.1. of decree №760 has stood its ground. Solidarity of entrepreneurs turned out to be insufficient, and a small group of activists devoid of “energetic” support of their colleagues got tired. A meeting scheduled for February, 18 did not take place, and the authorities did not have to exert any special effort for the purpose.
As for the Joint Democratic Forces, their participation in the parliamentary elections to all appearances is going to be realized in its usual manner. A single list of candidates was being coordinated at the headquarters of the JDF during the whole February, but the job was not finished. Well, there is still enough time before the official start of the election campaign.

IISEPS executive board

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