Другие материалы рубрики «English»
- Young opposition activist Uladzimir Yaromenak leaves jail after completing three-month term
Young opposition activist Uladzimir Yaromenak was released from a facility in Baranavichy, Brest region, on Tuesday morning upon completion of a three-month jail term...
- Milinkevich meets with Ukrainian and European politicians in Dublin
Alyaksandr Milinkevich, chairman of the Movement for Freedom, had meetings in Dublin on Thursday and Friday with the leaders of Ukrainian parties...
- Over 9,600 observers accredited for local elections as of March 10
- Two Homyel-based opposition activists arrested near Russian embassy in Minsk
- Hramada Belarusian Social Democratic Party to hold convention on March 16
- Lukashenka set to hold large-scale government conference on agriculture
- Opposition activist Paliyenka complains to Investigative Committee about mistreatment by police
- Opposition activist Uladzimir Yaromenak released on completion of three-month jail term
- Given Maidan protests, Belarusian opposition forces’ priority should be to prove that they want peaceful change, activist says
- Writer Svyatlana Aleksiyevich presents her new work at international book fair in Minsk
- Avel director happy with filming conditions in Minsk
- First car confiscated from repeat DUI offender in Minsk auctioned off
Presidential election played role as catalyst for economic crisis, expert says
Belarus’ December 2010 presidential election played a role as a catalyst for economic problems that have hit the country this year, Syarhey Balykin, leader of the Association of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses, said in an interview with BelaPAN on Monday.
“Hardly anyone will dispute that the country has been hit by an economic catastrophe this year,” said Mr. Balykin. “The Belarusian rubel dropped almost threefold against foreign currencies and consumer prices soared, resulting in drastic inflation whose rate, even according to official statisticians, exceeded 100 percent. It was a result of the economic policy pursued by the authorities ahead of the 2010 election.”
The authorities pumped “hollow money” into the economy and used an administrative lever to raise average pay in the country to $500 a month, said Mr. Balykin.
Meanwhile, he said, the measures were not needed to secure Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s victory in the election, as few doubted that he would be reelected for a fourth term.
“The Belarusian authorities became a hostage to statistics fetishism,” said Mr. Balykin. “Achieving various growth indicators became an end in itself, with a nice report placing higher up on the priority list of government officials than steps toward the real improvement of the quality of life. For the sake of nice figures, the authorities made decisions that later plunged the country into the financial crisis.”
“Signs of the looming disaster could be observed in 2010,” he said. “There was, of course, a time lag for the negative effects to become apparent. The beautiful picture started collapsing at the beginning of the spring. Unfortunately, the government failed to take adequate measures in time to control the depreciation of the Belarusian rubel, preferring to sit and wait for the situation to settle down on its own, as it used to do previously.”
Mr. Balykin expressed regret that the Belarusian opposition had failed to use the evident mistakes on the part of the authorities to its advantage during the 2010 presidential campaign.
None of the pro-democratic candidates warned the voters about the looming devaluation of the national currency and price hikes, he added. //BelaPAN