E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 8, 2008 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)


1. Basic trends of August
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Politics

3.1. A difficult case
3.2. Depoliticized elections
3.3. Being on both sides of the fence
4. Economics
4.1. About the types of mismanagement
4.2. However, a tendency
4.3. Not only advantages
4.4. We are going to be with cabbage!
5. Finances
5.1. Barge haulers on the Svisloch
5.2. Who is the main greedy person?
6. Good news
7. Our forecast for September


Dear readers!

Our August forecast can be entered in the rank of the most successful ones. Our assumption concerning the election process came true, at that the authorities as well as the opposition confirmed their customary behavior algorithm. Forming of the divisional election committees went off without any surprise. There turned out to be about three tens of democratic forces representatives in the almost seventy thousand strong group of vote counting specialists, and this means that any control of votes counting is out of the question.
Such an unambiguously formulated signal was accepted ant understood by the opposition; however it did not become a guide to a unified action. The final decision regarding the boycott was postponed by the Political council of the Joint Democratic Forces till September, 23. The decision was reached by no means unanimously as the degree of resentment (it was defined by the individual number of candidates who had not been admitted to the elections) turned out to be different by various parties.
As we supposed, in August the opposition did not remember about working with the body of electors. The pre-election routine business distracted them: the opposition was busy with making up lists of representatives for the divisional election committees, registering candidates, commenting the illegitimate activities of the authorities and so on. The authorities, from their part, tried to do everything possible so that the election campaign did not develop into a political one, and they fully succeeded in doing it.
In August the authorities had enough cares of their own. Suffice it to remember the war between Russia and Georgia, which demanded from the official Minsk a whole series of unpleasant decisions. However, the authorities did not forget about the elections. From August, 1 the rate of the working retirement pensions was increased on average by 11.2%, thereby an important step ensuring social stability under the conditions of the election campaign was made.
Certainly we could not foresee the war at Caucasia and its consequences for the Belarusian-Russian relations. Against the background of the ongoing events the negotiations regarding the gas prices for the forthcoming year turned out to be moved aside. Their recommencement will take place already in completely different, much more politicized decor.
On the other hand, contrary to our expectations a certain progress obviously began to show in the Belarusian-American relations. Although it did not come down to barricade demolishing so far, but the shots ceased, and a negotiation process, even if in a concealed form, got under way. It became possible owing to the fulfillment by the Belarusian part of one of the most important demands of the West – discharge of political prisoners.
The economic statistics of July (the first month of the second half year), as we assumed, turned out to possess a certain originality peculiar to the planned economy. Thus, putting into operation of accommodation at the expense of all financing sources made up in July only 12.9% of the one put into operation in June; investment into the fixed capital – 72.9%; manufacture of nonfoods – 97%. What really surprised us was reduction of the retail turnover (98% of the June showing). Perhaps, the given anomaly is connected with the peak of the vacation season when the most active buyers found themselves outside Belarus.
Just as we supposed, inflation in July exceeded the June level, although slightly (0.8% vs. 0.7%), in spite of the seasonal reduction of prices for the agricultural production. The lobbyists’ pressure concerning reconsideration of wholesale and retail prices also continued. Readers can make certain of it looking through the chronology of the August main events.

IISEPS executive board

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