The government supports Lukashenko in wages growth
This year the Government of Belarus plans to increase the average wage in the industry up to $ 500, First Vice Premier Minister Vladimir Semashko told reporters in Minsk on March 21.
The Government simply repeats the main messages after Lukashenko to calm down the population. Lower standards of living and lower salaries amid rising prices cause serious discontent among the population. However, the government is aware that salaries cannot grow faster than the production rate. As a result, government officials say that “salaries will rise gently to keep them behind the production growth rates”. At the same time no one quotes the production growth rates (objectively not more than 2-3%), while talking about doubling of the salaries up to USD 500. This proves that the government is merely following the orders coming from the Lukashenko’s administration. First Vice-Premier Vladimir Semashko recently reiterated that Belarus had overcome the crisis. Such ungrounded complacency of the government can be costly for the economy by the end of the year.
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.