Growth in industrial production in Belarus will be insufficient to overcome economic downturn in 2017

February 20, 2017 10:54

According to the National Statistics Committee, in January 2017 Belarus' GDP contracted by 0.5% despite industrial production growth by 5.9%. Industry accounts for 25% of Belarus' GDP. GDP contracted due to the negative dynamics in the construction, wholesale and retail trade. Positive dynamic is likely to persist in most types of industrial production, except petroleum refining. Wages are likely to grow compared with the same period in 2016. In order to overcome the downturn in the construction industry, volumes of soft loans may be revised upwards. Amid increased demand for products in some industrial sectors, layoffs may stop. High rate of industrial production is only possible if Russia resumes full oil supplies. Overcoming the economic recession without improving the situation in the construction industry and substantially improving people’s wages, is hardly possible.

Similar articles

Death penalty discussion in Belarus: yet not ready for either abolition or moratorium
September 18, 2017 10:43
Фота носіць ілюстрацыйны характар. Источник: Читать далее:

The Belarusian authorities have launched a discussion on the moratorium or abolition of the death penalty under the pressure of Belarusian human rights activists and international community. Apparently, the authorities are interested in monitoring public sentiments and response to the possible abolition of the capital punishment. The introduction of a moratorium on the death penalty would depend on the dynamics in Belarusian-European relations, efforts of the civil society organisations and Western capitals.

In Grodno last week, the possibility of abolishing the death penalty in Belarus or introducing a moratorium was discussed.

The Belarusian authorities are likely to continue to support the death penalty in Belarus. During his rule, President Lukashenka pardoned only one person, and courts sentenced to death more than 400 people since the early 1990s. Over the past year, Belarusian courts sentenced to death several persons and one person was executed.

There are no recent independent polls about people’s attitude about the death penalty in Belarus. Apparently, this issue is not a priority for the population. In many ways, public opinion about the abolition of the death penalty would depend on the tone of the state-owned media reports.

That said, the Belarusian Orthodox Church and the Roman-Catholic Church stand for the abolition of the capital punishment, however their efforts in this regard only limit to public statements about their stance. Simultaneously, the authorities could have influenced public opinion about the death penalty through a focused media campaign in the state media. As they did, for example, with the nuclear power plant construction in Astravets. Initially unpopular project of the NPP construction was broadly promoted in the state media, and eventually, according to independent pollsters, was accepted by most population.