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Something Irrevocable Happened, Says Economist

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Something Irrevocable Happened, Says Economist
SERGEI CHALY
PHOTO: ZHIZN-MALINA

The regime is economically unviable.

Well-known economist Sergei Chaly in an interview for Zhizn-Malina explained why Russia gave money to Lukashenka, compared the Belarusians with the trolleybus from a famous joke and told about a possible default. Salidarnasts provides an extract from the interview.

Why the protest will remain.

- Everything has changed. People have different feeling. Everyone already knows that we make up the majority. The minority comes to the opponent. It is also a feeling of moral truth and the fact that we won. However, the victory was stolen from us; this feeling will remain.

I really can't imagine what the government wants today. Let's turn the page, shall we? Should we forget those 400 cases of torture and 30,000 people who went through the system? Seriously? It doesn't work like that. The authorities have a year of reconciliation. There's no reconciliation without repentance, guys. Repentance comes first. Then comes reconciliation.

Something irrevocable has happened. There's no way back now. The authorities would like to go back to August 8. It is impossible. We and they have already done many irretrievable things. It won't be the way it was before.

How long can Lukashenka's regime exist?

- Lukashenka's aura of legitimacy has disappeared. The state we are in now cannot last long. It is not normal. It is a tense state of expectation on both sides. The country is living in crisis mode.

The economy is almost paralyzed now. The planning horizon that has sharply shrunk can demonstrate it. Such a situation does not contribute to any investment. Who can expand one's business now?

I find it strange that everything takes so much time. I see the heroic actions of the National Bank. It had to make it through the outflow of deposits, the rush to exchange offices. It has lost 20% of foreign exchange reserves this year.

I am trying to find out what is going on in the corridors of power. And to hear sounds coming from there. There is a question still unanswered: what do you want to achieve? Do you expect people to love Lukashenka again? No, it won't happen. Do you expect people to say: we have forgotten everything and forgive you? It won't happen either.

If the only tactic is violence and you want a full-fledged occupation regime, it's unrealistic. It's not economically viable. One needs a lot of money for such dictatorships. It is how either countries with resources live, or those who rob someone. A dictatorship is very expensive.