Leonid Zaiko: Today Belarusians remind the Indians, who dance around the white man
Belarus DOESN'T NEED loans. Write it in large letters. Moreover, they are dangerous for our country. Loans corrupt Belarus. Loans from the IMF - this money are for the officials, which they will spend to extend their stay in power as long as possible, and not to "improve" the economy", this opinion expressed in an interview with UDF.BY the economist Leonid Zaiko, commenting on the work and conclusions announced on October 17 by the IMF mission.
- Leonid, is there a possibility that Belarus will receive a loan from the International Monetary Fund in the next year?
- They can give money, although to call the specific amounts and terms is too early. We have something to sell in order to pay off these loans. IMF looks at the situation cynically and simple: there are huge state assets, which in the case of privatization will bring the state enough money to pay off its debts. It is dangerous to give money to Greeks, because they have nothing to sell.
- On what will the speed and amount of the financial help depend?
- The amount will be determined by the nature of transactions between the IMF and officials of the Belarusian nomenclature. There are some corruption and almost corruption like schemes. The officials from the IMF are extremely interested in the fact that we'll get a loan, because they get paid huge bonuses and premiums.
- And what is about economic and political liberalization? After all, the IMF demands to cut the government spending, to "freeze" lending and salaries...
- The International Monetary Fund is not a charitable organization. I was in Washington and saw how they work and what income they have. It is the usual international business structure. They take money from their founding countries at 2% and give at 5% and earn from this margin. We must demythologize all that is happening around the IMF. After all, they care of our liberalization, so that we can return money to them, and not for us to become civilized. Today Belarusians remind the Indians, who dance around the white man. It's a shame.
- From your words it turns out that the talk about political prisoners in exchange for loans is complete nonsense.
- It is. Extraordinary foolishness, toys for politicians. Ideological Department of the Communist Party Central Committee in all publications in the Soviet Union obliged to write about the IMF as an economic weapon of capitalism. There was such a standard and cliche to reveal its criminal nature. Our officials and journalists still transmit it.
- Do you support the measures announced by the head of mission Kris Jarvis today in Belarus? I mean raising the refinancing rate, "freezing" of salaries, etc.
- These measures are absolutely standard and are recommended for almost everyone. Same as birth control pills that are given to boys and girls. My attitude to these measures as the scholar and professional is very easy. I can also write and recommend a lot. It's not the case, but the fact that Belarus is now going through a "pricecide." The genocide derived from "price". Prices dropped sharply, the reformatting of the entire economic area is taking place.
Procedures recommended by the IMF are too easy and aren't really point as it's needed. It is necessary to begin from a change of the government and a clean-up of the entire apparatus. It is needed to set economic policy professionally. To develop a new concept.
- What is the concept of economic policy in Belarus now?
- Our officials don't know Marxist concept, they've studied long time ago. Liberal one, they aren't familiar with it at all. They adhere to Keynesianism in a spontaneous form. They have mess in the head, not the concept. Therefore, reducing the government spending and freezing salaries are too easy. This is a minor technical measure. This is how to sharpen skates: skating is possible, but to become an Olympic champion or just to show a good result won't work.
- It turns out that the loans, even if they will be received, won't change the situation essentially?
- No IMF will help Belarus. We've all gone to pot: the dollar "fell" by 3 times, the real standard of living "fell" by 3 times. To take some loans is just silly. Belarus don't need the IMF loan now. The previous loan of 3 billion 600 million should be paid off. Soon we will take from Russia 9 billion for a nuclear power plant. How will we return it? To take more loans?