Did the dictator forget that he has a very short "dug-out"?
At the meeting on the work of the Belarusian economy over the past period of 2019, Lukashenka warned the government that if the plans for 2019 were not implemented, tough personnel decisions would follow.
- If parameters for the development for 2019 are not met, all those responsible starting from the Prime Minister will be dismissed," the ruler said.
Is Lukashenka ready to dismiss Siarhei Rumas? Doctor of Economic Sciences Baris Zheliba answers the questions Zautra Tvaye Krainy.
- What made Lukashenka dissatisfied?
- He's having some kind of breakdown. He said that if you failed to meet the parameters for 2019 (which is 3% of GDP growth), be ready for dismissal. These are very tough statements against the background of the statistics. Such growth is not foreseen. The Ministry of Finance built the budget based on 3% of GDP growth, the government included 4%. If GDP growth amounted to 1.3% within seven months, what driver can pull up the statistics to make 3%? Will we change the Prime Minister again? This is not a variant. The government has not yet worked hard enough. I am surprised by such statements of Lukashenka.
- Can the government improve the situation in the economy before the year ends?
- Given the previous years, the same year 2018, the economic growth accelerated during the last quarter. But it's barely possible that the growth will reach 3% of GDP now. The most optimistic forecasts show 2-2.5%. The forecasts of our international creditors - the same World Bank - are even lower. Most analysts tend to the growth of less than 3%.
- Is the sword of Damocles hanging over Rumas and his team?
- It's quite possible after such statements, although Lukashenka barks but does not bite. He used to make such statements before, but people could keep working in peace later. I tend to the fact that these people will keep working.
The easiest way is to fire. But who will take their places? After all, it's not about personalities, but about the government, which is not the worst.
- Does Lukashenka have a "dug-out" now?
- It's very short. He shuffles the same officials. Although we expected that Rumas would be a more market-oriented prime minister, it seems that he is working within powers given to him.
- Does Lukashenka realize what is happening and is he finally ready for reforms needed for the improvement of the situation in the economy?
- All analysts who monitor the economy tend to the fact that Lukashenka is not going to make any unwise steps before the "'parliamentary' and "presidential elections". After all, reforms bring a certain risk. We need to break something, rebuild it. Lukashenka will not do it but will practice administrative methods, which are ineffective. There are political reasons.
- What does Lukashenka fear? After all, the state system of elections is fully adjusted in Belarus?
- He wants to play it safe. He made such statements to have obedient and calm people in the parliament.