Bankruptcy cases to increase by 30%-50% in 2016 in Belarus
According to the Supreme Court of Belarus, as of March 1st, 2016 the court had 2564 lawsuits on economic insolvency (bankruptcy), which was a 38% increase from last year. In late January 2016, every third Belarusian company was unprofitable. As the state reduces its support, even more enterprises are expected to file for bankruptcy, both state and private. In addition, that would lead to higher unemployment. Arrears on taxes and fees to the Social Security Fund will increase, as well as the volume of collateral and real estate sold by banks. Overall, in 2016, the number of industrial enterprises, trade and construction companies that will file for rehabilitation or bankruptcy procedure may increase by 30-50%.
The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.
Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.
Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.
In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.