Belarusian state-owned enterprises to construct housing in 2016
State organisations and enterprises with the state’s share in the authorized capital over 50% have been ordered to build 250,000 sq. metres of housing in 2016. This regulation has been adopted in order to enhance investment activity of enterprises. As a result, demand for corporate loans may grow due to enterprises lacking funds for housing construction. Commissioned apartments will be distributed among the workers and serve as a leash to keep most valuable employees. The state will gradually reduce its role in the housing construction by state cutting funding for housing construction and restricting the list of those eligible for soft loans. Due to falling incomes, the population has limited opportunities to finance housing construction and the prices on the housing market will continue to fall. Meanwhile, state housing construction plans will gradually decrease.
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.