Wages in public sector would grow due to resource saving and layoffs
According to the Council of Ministers Regulation No 100 of February 7th, 2017, wages in the public sector will grow be due to resources saved thanks to reorganisation and savings of funds allocated from the state budget for other purposes. According to the Draft National Budget for 2017, wages in the public sector should increase by 9%. New jobs in medicine and education are likely to reduce, budget organisations are likely to place fewer public procurement orders, non-payments for work performed and services rendered are likely to increase in number, and budget organisations are likely to delay deadlines. The state budget would only allocate additional funds to raise pay in the public sector if external economic situation improved significantly and the situation with energy supplies to Belarus normalised.
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.