Prague accent: Belarus and Europe without preferences

Why deprived preferences?
Drakakhrust: "From June 21 entered into force on the EU’s decision to abolish the trade preferences for Belarus under the Generalized System of Preferences (GPS) of the European Union. 10% of Belarusian exports to the EU will be subject to standard trade tariffs that are higher preferential 3%.
Earnings estimates, which would wipe the Belarusian economy are different, but in any case is a question of hundreds of millions of dollars. Such severe economic restrictions on Belarus European countries went for the first time is always the relationship with her. In addition, such a step is used rarely enough — European Union trade preferences previously deprived Burma only for the widespread use of child labor.
The official motive solutions, which entered into force in respect of Belarus — a violation of the rights of the official Minsk-independent unions. Stephen Adams, a spokesman for the EU Commissioner for Trade Peter Mandelson, then defined it as follows: "Our intention is to make a small pressure and encourage Belarus to guarantee workers freedom of association in this country, they are required to keep in accordance with the obligations of Belarus before the International organization of work. "
In your opinion, there really has become a prerequisite for this particular motif or something else? Natalia Leshchenko, the first question for you. "
Leshenko: "The reason, in my opinion, is really the point. Fact that the violation of workers’ rights — much heavier act on the basis of belief and the European Union, and Europeans as such. Idea of human rights, the right of international society to influence government individual states, demanding that they respect human rights — these ideas have appeared relatively recently and at the initiative of the United States. And the idea of workers’ rights, solidarity, social democracy were very strong in Europe since the postwar era. Because for the European Union is more understand the problem, besides, there are certain mechanisms to monitor implementation of the rights of workers, and to justify the violation of these rights even easier than read about human rights in general, for which there are several points of view. "

N.Leshchanka: "The ideas of workers’ rights, solidarity, social democracy were very strong in Europe since the postwar era."

Drakakhrust: "Natalia, but the EU trades with the world, engaged in trade with Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan. Neuzh there status to workers’ rights better than in Belarus? "
Leshenko: "But the fact is that the case in the wider EU with Belarus than with Turkmenistan. EU only at the moment began to produce its Central Asia strategy.
Here we should add that the idea of workers’ rights in Belarus made the way the International Labour Organization since 2003. Because, above all else, just load mechanism that something was put into it 3 years back, and, in the end, this European mechanism to produce the final product. "
Drakakhrust: "Vsevolod Yanchevskii whether you agree with the fact that one motive which is officially called the prerequisite for solving the EU — such he is?"
Yanchevskii: "Obviously, not the reason. Least as to social protection of workers, the people of Belarus in the space was the Soviet Union is in the first place. Ancient Russian system is almost completely restored. Russian alliance can not adore, scold, etc. but in the sphere of social security, no one will argue with the fact that the Soviet Union everything was very good. And here, in Belarus, social guarantees for workers of all categories restored and they really act because read that Belarus violated workers’ rights — it’s funny.
In my opinion, the reason is different. In our so-called "beyond the control" of trade unions, as well as throughout the Belarusian opposition (I do not divide) the same problem. Many years they receive financial assistance of various American and international structures. And to him soon begin to appear in the Sponsored questions: "Guys, we have a lot of good time finance. Where are the results? Where fans? Why so unpopular? Why the same-independent unions — just a few thousand people? Why acceptable solid largest rally nobody can collect?

V.Yanchevsky: "Whatever power did, what would be the assignment went, which would not create greenhouse conditions for those beyond the control of trade unions — still always be to blame for the power, they will always look for hooks, hooks, there is no comma there faces point there. "

And they need to respond to it somehow. And here and there since 2001, after the failure of the stunning Hancharyk elections, the opposition and "are independent" union leaders have found a successful move. They constantly refer to the fact that they are under pressure. Crushed, strangled, and so do not register. Though what little fact, from time to time and distorted hyperbolized they interpret in their favor, they say, whom we can then pick up on the fight, which may be popular, if we do not register.
In my opinion, the true policy, favorite, favorite union, none of these legal, anecdotal things are not necessary. If you’re popular if you are able to connect people and to raise them to protect their rights, to bring to the area — for your registration is not necessary. They obviously unpopular, and they need to explain why this is so. And because it would have the power did, what would assignment went, which would not create greenhouse conditions for those "beyond the control" of trade unions — still always be to blame for the power, they will always look for hooks, hooks, there is no comma stands there, there point.
A mislead international officials on the situation in Belarus is not difficult. They situation in our country do not know, we have different conditions, different mindset. And they mean according to clear, on pieces of paper, not in Europe harsh professionals in Belarus. In this situation these people, which is called true "entrepreneurs from politics," it is not difficult circle of international and European officials around the finger. "
Drakakhrust: "Vsevolod you first uttered that, as in Belarus kvazisavetskaya system, then it is a very powerful social protection, and because it provided workers ‘rights. But the same International Labour Organization treats treats workers’ rights, not as paternalism on the part of the country as their right to self-organization. This, at least from their point of view, different things. "
Yanchevskii: "No problems. These" are independent "unions have for many years, no one stopped them from becoming more widespread.’s Somewhere I read an interview with comrade Yarashuk, incidentally, former partfunktsyyanera — according to him, have them there, there are several thousand people. They are, they are, no they do not prohibit gather, protect their rights, to pay the fees. recollection appears that the question is not about real things, and the legal hooks. As they say — two lawyers, three representations ".
Drakakhrust: "Vitaly Tsigankov eventually came up to you all. Seems that you have answered my question about the motives of the EU’s decision and what your outlook about expressions pochetaemyh our colleagues?"
Tsigankov "First answer your question. There really are such motives, that the procedure was started. This history stretches from 2000, when are independent unions filed a complaint with the International Labour company of violations of trade union rights in Belarus. The matter has been launched, and here, as in the court of the victim’s age and wishes to withdraw your application, the course it has already been given, and nothing can be done. And then mechanism was launched, it was all possible deposition, warning all possible hundredths Chinese warnings and only seven years deprivation of preferences to take effect.
Here it should be recalled that, in its time, the inclusion of Belarus into the General System of Preferences has been made in advance, Belarus did not deserve that. Well, now it turns out that this advance Belarus not fulfilled.
On the other hand, the decision to deprive preferences is in line with the general approach of the European Union. I’ve no wish to use the word strategy, because at times it seems that very finely developed strategy is not here, but the general approach using a "carrot and stick" to the mind, and then cut one some mechanisms, others. Now this "stick", which by some estimates is not so terrible — about $ 100 million, was launched.
Well, now I’ll be obliged to react to what Vsevolod read. You know, from time to time when people they say that 2 +2 = 5, then it is they may make mistakes, but if they do they say that 2 +2 = 578, it seems that they are just joking, "prykalyvayutstsa." So it seems to me that Vsevolod slightly joking when states that in Belarus there are no violations of trade union rights.

V.Tsygankov: "When people they say that 2 +2 = 5, then it is they may make mistakes, but if they do they say that 2 +2 = 578, it seems that they are just joking."

I will only mention that the "Grodno Nitrogen" in early 2006 under threat nepadavzhennya contract-independent union were obliged to leave more than 500 people. According to the latest least 150 people were obliged under pressure to leave the company at the Bobruisk plant units. A general since 1999, came into force a decree number 2 on the activities of public organizations and political parties, no community-independent trade union was not registered. Only in the past six months, the Belarusian authorities woke up and decided to perform a certain extent Council of the International Labour Organization, then for the first time since 1999 registered two cell-independent trade union — in Borisov in Grodno. "
Why Minsk not to make concessions?
Drakakhrust: "Here I propose to move the EU towards Belarus, or rather, to talk about the position of the Belarusian government. EU decision, we are talking about, it was decided on the basis of the respective conclusion of the International Labour Organization. At the same time representatives of this organization have stated that Essentially the Belarusian authorities could just almost a couple of weeks, to meet the requirements that would ensure the preservation of trade preferences for Belarus. idea was to simplify the registration procedure of free trade unions and end the country’s intervention in the affairs of trade unions.
Recent months, the government has worked quite closely with the ILO and the EU, but those configurations that were prepared Belarusian side, these organizations are still considered missing. Indeed whether the requirements were not so easy to perform, or the Belarusian authorities for some reason could not go on those configurations that were for the preservation of preferences? Sovereign Yanchevskii, word for you. "
Yanchevskii: "It just proves that indeed 2×2 4 rather than 578, so what difficulties the Belarusian government to do everything that they want"-independent "unions. If any commas are not there, they guide. Prepyadstviya essence that that would not have made the Belarusian government, will always be artificial, exaggerated accusations, to say that we here badly. It essentially comes not from the European structures, as evidenced by even the same duration of the process.
I also would not say that it is an element of a strategy for the European Union, I agree that such a strategy towards Belarus, unfortunately, generally not visible.

V.Yanchevsky: "It generally goes from Belarus, from" beyond the control "of trade unions. And they did not raise it in order to protect their rights and to settle Europe and the Yankees that they bad here."

It generally goes from Belarus, from "beyond the control" of trade unions. And they did not raise it in order to protect their rights and to settle Europe and the Yankees that they bad here. And in those matters in which Europeans and Americans can not understand, they manipulated quite well already 12 years old. This era ends.
As to the facts, then at least some countries, even the most civilized European can always find one or the other conflict. Can remember, say, Margaret Thatcher. Pochetaemy Vitaly speaking about human rights, several times read about registration. But I would wish to go legal level political. If there is a real trade union movement, as it was in the late 1980s, there is no one asks for registration. Workers are rising, it can be seen, it is a real force in the square are a thousand, thousand 10s, is power … "
Drakakhrust: "Vsevolod, you repeat what has already been read as before."
Yanchevskii: "I repeat, because it all comes down earlier."
Drakakhrust: "But you did not answer my question. You currently reads about the U.S. position, reminisced about Margaret Thatcher. But there is a list of certain wishes, certain criteria which are laid on the table negotiator from the official Minsk. These certain conditions the Belarusian side takes. Why? "
Yanchevskii: "All those things that Belarus should do in accordance with the international agreements that it signs, it does. There are different interpretations, it is made or not made. Always on dark snowy say, There is no clear, specific conversations. Like what- is produced once there other requirement, or when in fact requirement is satisfied, we can always legally interpreted that it is not satisfied. "
Drakakhrust: "Vitaly maybe Vsevolod really right that these requirements" float "- exhibit one another later, later somehow interpreted their performance?"
Tsigankov: "I, unlike some members of our conversation, very intensively found this information. On some websites published 12 tips ILO indicating which of them were made, and what — no. Indeed, representatives of the Belarusian government worked quite intensively over, so some of these tips to perform. Was drafted a new law on trade unions. In February Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions was invited to the State Council on Labour and Social Affairs. was produced a few small things. But in general, these requirements were not met. And I think that is the reason that in the framework of the current political system is unreal.
For example, one of the tips — is that management companies do not interfere in the affairs of trade unions to even the government does not interfere in it. But it is the dismantling of the political system, such a charming and Russian, as noted Vsevolod where unions BRYU — it supports on which it rests. As the state does not interfere in their activities?
In these manuals and reports noted numerous instances where executives interfered in the activities of trade unions and-independent, and those that belong to the FPB.
I remember the words of Alexander Yarashuk, chairman of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions, he said during an online conference on the website of our radio: according to him, are sitting in power are not suicidal, they will not go to the harsh liberalization of the political system, since power it will just be suicide. How is it — let that favorite-independent unions openly campaigned in enterprises for strikes against the contract system in general, and political power, defended the rights of workers not at several companies, which still their communities, and all companies?

V.Tsygankov: "Here I agree with Vsevolod, that at the moment we do not have the" Solidarity ", there is no such union favorite who can lead the people. But the government fears that the development of such criteria of" Solidarity "and may appear . "

I agree here with Vsevolod, that at the moment we do not have the "Solidarity", there is no such union favorite who can lead the people. But the authorities concerned that the development of such criteria "Solidarity" may seem. If anadromous and on all plants can be relaxed hand out leaflets, if the enterprises are independent trade unions to act, it is against the backdrop of the current deepening social contradictions, amid diverse economic situation may lead to an uprising of "Solidarity".
Now the authorities are not more afraid of the political opposition, and the capacity of the labor movement. And the abolition of benefits and difficulties in trade with Russia — all this just encourages that social tensions will grow. "
Drakakhrust: "Natalia, weird way and Vsevolod, and Vitaly different language says basically the same thing: that the Belarusian side could not fulfill the conditions that exhibited the European Union because it is equal to the change in the political system. This is really so? Either the legal side to which so disparagingly treated Vsevolod, translate it into the political arena: they say, We wish that Lukashenko gone, and only then we will arrange it? "
Leshenko: "It is not about changing the Lukashenko regime. And the thesis that regime change is necessary to meet the requirements of the European Union — this is an exaggeration. It seems very fundamentally different political opposition to the government and the social, labor opposition.

N.Leshchanka: "Workers — a very powerful social force in Belarus, it is not political, but a very powerful social force."

Workers — a very powerful social force in Belarus, it is not political, but a very powerful social force. In April 1991, hundreds of thousands of people a couple of times out of the square to protest against the government’s decision to liberalize prices. In 1995, union officials did subway strike when Lukashenko came to power. In 2001, the trade union was the favorite candidate of the united opposition.
In the last 2-3 years we see the self-organization of workers, and not only in municipal, and in the midst of small businesses — taxi drivers, vendors in the market. They did not only protest, and forced the authorities to do their requirements.
And what Vsevolod read that unions can twist the European bureaucracy — if it is really so, then this is evidence of their power. And because the power, from her point of view, appropriate to make enough — no need to contribute to the creation of the Belarusian "Solidarity." After all, it really might seem.
And finally — about the fact that the requirements of the European Union "float" that instead of executed exhibited new. If it were so, it would be a certain strategy and pochetaemye my interlocutors, including Vsevolod states that any strategy of the Union in respect of Belarus. So here in the reasoning there is a certain contradiction Vsevolod. "
What will happen after the sanctions?
Drakakhrust: "And now I propose to speak up about what will be relations between Belarus and the EU further after the decision, which came into force on 21 June? Worth to pay attention, and that the reaction of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, Alexander Lukashenko has been muted and even conciliatory. head of the country, namely, said that the loss "or 100, or 200 million dollars, and we do not notice. It is not the duty of the Russian Federation on gas and oil. "Either the exception of Belarus will GSP boundary beyond which relations between Belarus and the EU worsen in all directions, or it will be local, although the principal nuance relations and cooperation can develop rapidly in other areas, — for example, the issue of privatization of municipal enterprises, the program which was announced by the government? Natalia that your outlook? "
Leshenko: "Maybe it sounds paradoxically, but I would have said that the case of what happened, will improve. Improve in the sense that there will be more talks, more contacts. Hitherto dialogue, if it was carried out and, it conducted at the level of political declarations. fact that the European Union has gone on — it is a constructive and for their extraordinary measure, this is evidence of interest in Belarus, that the EU applies to Belarus over SUR» seriously than hitherto treated.

N.Leshchanka: "The fact that the European Union has gone on — it is a constructive and for their extraordinary measure, this is evidence of interest in Belarus, that the EU applies to Belarus over SUR» serious than previously applied."

That still regards the Belarusian government, politics really changed slightly, and the Belarusian authorities keep curious interaction with Europe. What is currently the case with Russia worsened, urges the Belarusian authorities to find a dialogue with the EU.
I would note here another exciting moment. If Lukashenko said that 100-200 million bucks for it is not the problem, it shocked me. Cancel social benefits that came out a couple of weeks back, the budget should save only 78 million dollars. Only. This is a very small figure, and the government went to such risk arouse discontent on all fronts and in all categories of the population. "
Tsigankov: "I thought this question to answer, that things will not change. Natalia But after answering to a certain extent I tend to agree with her. No deterioration of relations front, which you, Yuri, says does not happen, the Belarusian administration, reluctantly heart, swallow this problem. Will, I believe this logic that the "irrelevance" should not impact on our business.

V.Tsygankov: "Recent actions, in my opinion, truly demonstrates that the ruling elite are the two groups with respect to the West and to Europe."

Recent actions, in my opinion, is not demonstrate that the ruling elite are the two groups with respect to the West and Europe. Namely, we say, Natalia Pyatkevich meets with U.S. Secretary of State Assistant to the cafe, meets with Alexander Yaroshuk, as he said in the course online on the website of our radio. And they say more about what we read Vsevolod — say that whatever we do for Europe, it is nothing we can not please everyone. It seems that at the moment win arguments, relatively speaking, "liberal" groups and Belarus wants to put up with the European Union, in any case, not to spoil things. "
Drakakhrust: "Vsevolod, and now a word to you as" gardlayneru "- adherent rigid band."
Yanchevskii: "We have a typical speech. If the first part we argued with pochetaemymi interlocutors, but now I also agree with them. They agreed among themselves — and I agree with them. It seems to me that the incident with these sanctions and preferences — this is one of the latter, or maybe last a nasty incident in the bilateral relations.

V.Yanchevsky: "We are at the end of the period when Europeans looked at the action in the eyes of the local opposition in Belarus. They have already started and will soon be well to look at the action with my own eyes."

We are at the end of the period when Europeans looked at actions in the eyes of the local opposition in Belarus. They have already started and will soon be one hundred per cent look at the action with our eyes.
I should like to correct a little Vitaly Makarov my interpreted so that, say that whatever we do, Europe will still be against it. In fact, I do not read about Europe and about the local opposition, in this case it is the format in which it currently exists. And Europe is just uniformly, given the fact that it’s a big body, changes the attitude to Belarus, is aware that it is necessary to cooperate in the energy sector, and in vkladyvatelnoy sphere, and the dilemma of movement.
And in Europe, many people realize that there is no dictatorship here reality — neither last nor the penultimate. Yes, there is a typical political system, it can be seen from the Constitution that the President’s authority here is very powerful, it supported the people. Thus, such a choice, at this historic step Belarus is such a method. But here there is no horror, and what we have chosen — a plus not only the people of Belarus, and in Europe, plus, because here the situation is very measured.
Business with Europe will improve, and the less will be mediators in the face of local opposition, union leaders, so they are the best. But these intermediaries rather rapidly removes most Europe.
Incidentally, I totally agree, and let me not Vitaly mended that the Belarusian authorities and even more so the Belarusian president and anyone afraid of something. Very powerful Belarusian authorities, strong Belarusian president. Many times over the 12 years prophesied that there collapses, there will fall — and nothing fell. Well, he has no sense of fear neither the opposition nor the trade unions. And what kind of government on certain issues went to meet, and just shows that it is not legal in these things here clue. "
What people loaf?
Drakakhrust: "How to respond to the EU’s decision Belarusian society and what is your prediction for this reaction? Either people feel that it is an unfriendly act, unjust punishment Belarus for their independent domestic and foreign policy, that these attempts to put pressure on the country to front? Or become more vserasprostranennym the view that the Belarusian authorities to blame, unable to do regular business with the outside world? Apparently, there will be representation of both types, but what will prevail, and how these public mood will affect the social and political situation in the country? "
Leshenko: "If a couple of years back the Belarusian authorities in connection with the cancellation of preferences would read about the pressure from Europe, recalled to a" Nazi anger ", but now the situation has changed a little bit. Belarusian authorities now have something to lose in the dialogue with the European Union, if they want to thrash him in the sight of the Belarusians.
I think it would be reasonable to expect that the authorities "will conceal" this dilemma preferences as one of the main reasons for the deterioration of the Belarusian economy. "
Yanchevskii: "The general tone of the comments — that the case that the left — such that the overall effect of the EU’s decision in comparison, say, with prices increasing energoelementy by pockets of people do not knock. Those surveys that we conduct, show that the degree of convince people that even if there is some prepyadstviya and failures, the power to cope with them — this is very high degree of conviction.
About what that from time to time called "propaganda machine", will exhibit in a bad light or even Europe opposition, it is not so. Look at comments — they are very measured or absent. But obviously grateful for this Belarus will not.
Vorachivayas to "-independent" unions, we should say that if they had thought about the real popularity, they would never take such steps did not go. Well, behold the same people that they are walking and begging — deprive Belarus of preferences, to make it worse. Politicians do not. But if popularity is zero, it is clear that there is nothing to lose. "
Tsigankov: "I believe that speaking about the response to this decision, we need to read about the peculiarities of human psychology. If any offender on trial for theft, he apparently incriminating complaining prosecutor, but not himself. And because normal that most people in Belarus answer that these sanctions hit by ordinary people, not the boss. course, that the current situation might not comparable with state propaganda abilities opposition media. But, as already noted by my interlocutors, anyone now unprofitable razdmuvats this dilemma " .

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