Job cuts in economy are expected in 2014
In accordance with the governmental forecast, workforce reduction by 70 thousand is expected in enterprises in 2014. The fact of the excessive number of staff is confirmed by the executives of enterprises themselves.
The figures of proposed job cuts will not be reached for two reasons. The idea is to create 47 thousand new high-performing jobs for dismissed employees, which is unfeasible. And the upcoming presidential campaign in 2015, whereby the escalation of social tensions in society is unacceptable, will serve as a deterrent. Jobs will be cut only in extreme cases (economic insolvency). The alternative option will be less noticeable incremental reduction in the number of staff under the pretext of the growth of wages of remaining employees of the enterprise.
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.