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BULLETINS INFOFOCUS № 3

E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 3, 2008 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)

Content:

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

3.1. What do tulips smell of?
3.2. All is not gold that glitters
4. Finances
4.1. A considered and strict approach
4.2. Everyone has its own balance
5. Politics
5.1. The red house against the white one
5.2. “Arrests have been conducted”
5.3. Taking into account the opinion of the residents
5.4. “An alive shield”
6. Good news
7. Our forecast for April
8. From the IISEPS Desktop

Introduction:

Dear readers!

 

Our inflationary forecast most likely will not prove to be correct. We underestimated potentialities of the administrative resource that the Belarusian government has at its disposal. The final data of the first quarter has not been published yet, but judging by the March report of Minister of Economics N. Zajchenko the inflation growth confined itself to the quarterly schedule of the government to one tenth of a percent (3.7%). With the annual plan equaling 8% it means that the government is going to have rather modest opportunities for a price maneuver in subsequent quarters. Against the background of rise in prices (first of all, for foodstuff) in Russia and in Ukraine unreality of the annual index fulfillment becomes evident.
On the other hand, our confidence concerning the conflict settlement between tenants of some houses living in K. Marx St. and the city authorities completely justified itself. The authorities retreated with apologies along the whole front line. We have become witnesses of a quite rear occasion when state and private mass media turned out to be unanimous in their assessments. It was also the tenants’ victory as they did not politicized the matter. It let the authorities safe their face and shift the blame for what had happened onto negligence of some officials from the executive committee of the Lenin district. Moreover, “the only political figure of Belarus” managed to derive personal benefit from the conflict as he “demanded from the representatives of the local authorities in a hard-edged manner to stop “the pressure” and attentively, responsibly listen to the opinion of the street dwellers” (“Sovetskaya Belorussia”).
Having yielded to the trend of the public mood formed last year, we forecast further decrease of the head’s of the Belarusian state electoral rating. However, we were wrong about the trend, and consequently – about the rating. The inflationary fright of November and December began to disperse, regardless of the fact that prices kept growing in January. The ability of the Belarusian society to adapt itself to the negative external conditions turned out to be considerably higher than it had been forecast. The Belarusian analytical community should think the mentioned fact over. The rumor launched by “Euroradio” concerning appointment of A. Lukashenko’s elder son as governor of the Brest region did not prove to be true, just the way we supposed it; additional leakage of information from the offices of Brest officials did not occur either. Under the conditions of an impendent crisis “the family” has to concentrate on the main direction, rather than on realization of forecasting indices of a certain region.
Against the background of the flared up “war of embassies” the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not have time to occupy itself with “a Pole’s card”, especially since an Agreement between the government of the Republic of Belarus and the Commission of the European Communities about establishment, privileges and immunities of the European Commission representative office in Minsk was signed in Brussels on March, 7. For some time warming in relations with Europe turned into an important counterbalance of “the gone too far Yankees” policy, and Minsk stopped the anti-Poland campaign in the mass media under control.
As we predicated, unfortunately A. Kozulin remained behind bars. Let us remind you our grounds: “Actually the situation is almost hopeless for A. Lukashenko. Any decision concerning the lot of the former presidential contender is going to turn into losses for him”. However, we must confess, we did not imagine the real scale of losses and that they would come so quickly. Today things are evidently heading toward severance of diplomatic relations with the USA. Under such conditions there is a minimum of chances for A. Kozulin’s discharge.

IISEPS executive board

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