E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 1, 2008 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)


1. Basic trends of January
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Economics

3.1. A little bit of final statistics
3.2. A gust of innovations
3.3. Questions of the deputy minister
3.4. Welcome to the taxation monopoly!
4. Finances
4.1. Stability is guaranteed
4.2. Basis of the optimistic prognoses
5. Politics
5.1. An individual employer vs. the chief policeman
5.2. Book-keeping of a protest
5.3. Europe is learning how to listen to. What about Belarus?
5.4. A certificate of loyalty
6. Good news
7. Our forecast for February


Dear readers!


Our prognosis, which every issue of the “Infofocus” ends with, by the already developed tradition is devoted to the forthcoming events of the next month. However, in the December issue we have paid our main attention to the prognosis for the impending year. That is why this time we shall not only turn to the events of the month just ended, but also to some results of the last year. In particular, it should be noted that growth of housing and communal services cost, as it had been expected, did not exceed $ 5. It would have been too ill-considered on the part of the authorities to deprive the Belarusian society of yet another paternal illusion after the cancellation of benefits and an inflation leap in November and December.
The governing body of the country somehow is not able to manage the declared several years ago course aimed at cutting down State subsidies in the sphere of housing and communal services. According to the last investigations conducted by the specialists of the Ministry of statistics and analysis, the share of housing and communal services in the structure of housekeeping consumer expenses amounted to 7.1% in the third quarter of 2006, and in the third quarter of 2007 – to 5.6%. On the country scale additional expenses of the state are quite comparable with the savings obtained as a consequence of benefit cancellation. In this case, however, the question arises as to whether carrying out of such an unpopular and risky for the authorities undertaking was necessary. It is impossible to answer it within the framework of a rational approach; yet we are going to express our considerations concerning such an illogical decision in the analytical part of the “Infofocus”.
Perseverance with which individual employers defended their rights in January turned out to be quite unexpected for us. Let us remind you of our prognosis: “Supply of patience in the Belarusian society is considerable, but its ability to self-organization is, on the contrary, quite low. People are going to grumble, but they will adapt to changes mainly at the expense of their needs level reduction”. Our assurance was based on the long-lived experience of the opposition in organizing protest actions. Party activists owing to unbiased reasons address themselves with political appeals to an abstract person; they are practically not able to address themselves to individuals. However, in January protest actions mainly those people took part that did not defend blurred values, but lost their usual jobs and at the same time incurred quite considerable material losses.
The protest action organized on February, 2 by the tenants of several houses situated at the intersection of K. Marx and Volodarsky streets in Minsk also testifies to the fact that such incentives are able to unite people for joint action. They protested against the forthcoming resettlement due to the plan of the city authorities to alter apartment houses into hotels and casinos. The common misfortune united people irrespective of age, profession and political believes. We suppose that in 2008 we shall hear time and again about the new hotbed of confrontation between citizens and authorities which has arisen in the very center of the Belarusian capital.
As far as foreign policy confrontation is concerned, judging by the oozing out information, the December meeting of Belarus and Russia leaders is going to have “long-playing” consequences, just the way we have supposed it. A visit of A. Lukashenko to Russia, which has been denied for three days by the Belarusian and Russian presidential press-cutting services and his meeting with his Russian colleague, is a vivid confirmation of it.

IISEPS executive board

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