2 June 2020, Tuesday, 3:48
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The Karić Brothers’ Collective Farm

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The Karić Brothers’ Collective Farm
Iryna Khalip

What joker called them "investors"?

The policeman is no longer alone: he has a lost, as in Indian cinema, twin brother, with whom he was separated in childhood. However, the brother stands at a distance and is not visible to others. Perhaps the policeman would have stood like that and didn't know that he wasn't alone anymore. But wild boasting of one of the Serbian businessmen Karić demonstrated the very relative of the policeman on all social networks.

And here it is, a monument to the Sreten Karić, standing in the middle of a nice cottage village in the water protection zone. Spreading his hands to the sky, Lenin-like, he smiles, and he as much relates to Belarus as this policeman who served the Russian Empire, and his Serbian brother served Slobodan Milosevic. By some twist of fate, both strangers turned out to be cast-iron morons on our Minsk streets.

Everything is clear with the policeman. This is a personal totem of the former Interior Minister. It depicts a random person, as a woman with seeds on Komarovka Market. It has no first name, no last name, no biography, just a totem. But Sreten Karić in the outskirts of Minsk is a quite real person from Milosevic's family of "wallets". Bogoljub Karić posted the picture of this monument. Bogoljub Karić was wanted internationally from 2006 to 2016 and lived in Belarus under a Russian political asylum. He turned out to be a great friend for Aliaksandr Lukashenka. He arrived being on the Interpol wanted list, but with Russian security documents; together with his brother Dragomir, he made friends with Lukashenka (he loves such things); at his expense, he sent the ruler and his entourage to a ski resort and immediately got land for development. (It is clear that not only for the resort, but also money paid for many years to come. This scheme worked with Slobo in due time - though millions didn't save him). Since then, all these "Zomex" and "Dana" systematically mangle our city, turning entire areas into concrete prisons without a single tree, but with hundreds of thousands of square meters. And some joker called the Karić brothers the main investors in the Belarusian economy. However, we know him. His jokes are stupid, not funny.

Indeed, what kind of investments have these brothers attracted to our country or just taken out of their own pockets? No investments. Plots are allocated by personal decree of Lukashenka - as stated in Decree № 541 of 2009, "based on negotiations without contract bidding". The land plots are allocated for temporary use during the construction period, while at the end for permanent use. Land plots that do not belong to residential housing, engineering and transport infrastructure are leased without holding auctions and without charging a fee for the right to conclude land plot lease agreements. The right to enter into a lease agreement is the most "blood-sucking" thing for any investor. The right to lease a land plot for 99 years will cost half of its cadastral value, for 50 years - 31.3%, for a year - 3.2. First one will have to pay for the right to lease for construction purposes, and then for the right to lease for operational purposes. But the Karić brothers were waived by personal decree.

Then everything's simple. All investments include hiring an excavator and starting digging. Three kopecks of investments. One can immediately start selling the future square meters. Belarusians come for square meters with their savings or loans taken at high interest. They invest money in future housing. That is, the construction is done at the expense of the Belarusians, but not at the expense of some mythical investments. By the way, Bogoljub Karić was charged with the illegal withdrawal of capital from Serbia. The damage amounted to 40 million euros. The case in Serbia was closed in 2016, beyond the statute of limitations. But it does not apply to "offshore", so no one would be surprised if some Belarusian money is safely transferred there. However, this is a secondary issue. The main thing is that all these square meters were built not on attracted investments, but money earned by the sweat of Belarusians' brow. The investor is Mr. Nobody.

But now they can cast relatives in metal and erect them on Kalinowski Square and so on. I wouldn't be surprised if Bakiyev monument will appear in Minsk soon. Of course, he's very much alive, because the East has other traditions. One doesn't have to wait for death to sculpt oneself and erect it on the square to please people.

In general, the Karić brothers with their locust invasion of Minsk resemble a flock of pigeons. Pigeons dirty streets and squares, not thinking about why they do it, and not even wanting to harm anyone. Just an instinct, nothing more. We don't judge pigeons for shitting on our streets. What is the reason? They are stupid. The same story is true about the Karić brothers: pigeons, yep, they are like pigeons. Well-nourished ones.

Iryna Khalip, especially for Charter97.org