Tightening of the monetary policy
The National Bank of Belarus stopped providing resources to commercial banks in the Belarusian rubles in exchange for foreign currency (in swap transactions, exchange deposits, etc).
At the same time the National Bank restricted issuing of loans by the state banks and increased their costs significantly in order to reduce pressure on the currency market.
The government ruled not to raise the base wage rate (effective as of 1 November 2010 and amounting to Br 118,000) before the end of the year. However wages will be adjusted in accordance with the inflation rate. In addition, the government intends to make a one-time payment to low-income retirees.
These solutions aim to reduce the supply of money and obligations to the Anti-Crisis Fund of the EurAsEc. These actions of the Government and the National Bank will certainly have a desired effect however they will not provide with a sharp reduction of money supply and will not save budget from the deficit. Another unpleasant decision the authorities should make in the very near future is to raise tariffs for housing utilities.
President Lukashenka continues to rotate staff and rejuvenate heads of departments and universities following new appointments in regional administrations. Apparently, new Information Minister Karliukevich could somewhat relax the state policy towards the independent media and introduce technological solutions for retaining control over Belarus’ information space. New rectors could strengthen the trend for soft Belarusization in the regions and tighten the disciplinary and ideological control over the student movement in the capital.
President Lukashenka has appointed new ministers of culture and information, the new rector of the Belarusian State University and heads of three universities, assistants in the Minsk and Vitebsk regions.
The new Information Minister Karliukevich is likely to avoid controversial initiatives similar to those former Minister Ananich was famous for, however, certainly within his capacities. Nevertheless, the appointment of Belarusian-speaking writer Karliukevich could be regarded as the state’s cautious attempt to relax environment in the media field and ensure the sovereignty of national media.
The Belarusian leadership has consolidated the trend for mild Belarusization by appointing a young historian and a ‘reasonable nationalist’, Duk as the rector at the Kuleshov State University in Mogilev. Meanwhile, while choosing the head of the Belarusian State University, the president apparently had in mind the strengthening of the ideological loyalty among the teaching staff and students at the main university in order to keep the youth movement at bay. Previously, Korol was the rector of the Kupala State University in Grodno, where he held purges among the disloyal teaching staff.
The trend for the renewal of mid-ranking executives and their rejuvenation has confirmed. The age of the Culture Minister and three new rectors varies from 39 to 44 years old.