Updated at 14:03,08-08-2022

Lukashenka sounding out public opinion?

Zmitser Yahorau, belsat.eu

With ever increasing frequency Aliaksandr Lukashenka calls people’s attention to lack of funds and his intention to take belt-tightening measures. Who will bear responsibility for filling holes in the budget? Belsat TV brings top five ‘anti-crisis’ statements the Belarusian President has made for the last month to your notice.

The budget for 2013 was expected to be balanced: official analysts predicted economic growth by 8-9 %, increase in government revenues and official reserve assets. But state experts prove to have been miles out in their calculations: according to Deputy Finance Minister Maxim Yermalovich, at the end of 2013 there will be a 9-trn budget hole ( a deficit of about 7 %).

Mr Lukashenka is believed to have studied a report on economic performance in the winter half at the end of July: it is in early August when he started harping on austerity measures.

Weapons – for sale!

"Military men should fully realize what we really can do and what we can’t," Lukashenka stated at the session on the country’s armed forces development. The head of state stressed that earlier the number of army men had reached 200,000, then it fell by half. But this was just the beginning: "We don’t need as many militaries, nowadays quantity does not matter," Lukashenka said.

Excess defense articles are not needed these days, Lukashenka, aka the C-in-C, points out. "There are enough people who would like to buy these weapons. If we can sell them anywhere it should be done," he said.

Only the fast survive

All that academic world and state officials are good for is to constantly complain of money problems, Aliaksandr Lukashenka believes. In his opinion, researchers should look for extra-budgetary resources because the state will stop financing any projects without getting the most out of them.

Lukashenka even mentioned the expected date of introducing such an unpopular measure: "From January, 1 we are not going to pay tons of money to anybody, including academic circles. First of all, to academic circles, because they are clever people who should earn money both for themselves and the state."

Sports: no more sums out of reason

In Belarus there are also "tons of money" in the field of sports! But on August 15 the leader promised to put an end to this: "No more megamoney in sports! If one shows the [best – Belsat] result they will see the colour of megamoney. No result – no money!"

As residents of all the regions stand an opportunity to go in for any kind of sports erecting huge sport arenas may be suspended as well, he added.

Corruptioners must… yield profits!

For nearly twenty years has Aliaksandr Lukashenka been fighting against corruption. But despite the toughest measures he fails to root it out.

"Anyone who committed a crime [economic – Belsat] has to fully compensate for losses and be subject for punishment. This should be your responsibility. Having stolen money from the state one should repay it three- or fivefold," the President stated during the meeting with the Prosecutor General and the Head of the Investigative Committee.

Kill all dealers!

As part of further anti-corruption regulations Lukashenka called on the enterprises to abandon purchasing raw materials with help of dealers. According to him, it is not uncommon when intermediator firms are inder control of heads of enterprises.

"[In such cases] a head of an enterprise should go to prison, an intermediator firm is to be subject to liquidation, and its head will not run business any more. It is the third time I have warned you If you buy raw materials at a higher price, which affects cost price, you will fail to compete on markets," he stated.