YABLOKO launched Economic Manifesto
Press Release, 12.09.2016
“YABLOKO takes up the responsibility to tell [the country] what should be done, what should be the economic policy priorities. Our Manifesto is devoted to this,” Igor Nikolayev, Director of the Institute of Strategic Analysis FBK. According to Nikolayev, the document outlined the priorities of economic development of the country, that the government failed to determine.
YABLOKO leader Grigory Yavlinsky, evaluated the situation in the Russian economy of Russia as “very bad.” He noted that the ongoing recession would affect further development of the country.
He stressed that the main problems of the Russian economy were its poor diversification, low technological level and low labour productivity. According to Yavlinsky, only Russian raw and weapons could successfully compete on the world markets.
He stated that the main resources of the economy were concentrated in the hands of the state and companies controlled by the state, and private capital could work only in the field where it was allowed to; whereas such a permission could be withdrawn any time.
Sergei Ivanenko, Deputy Chair of the party, said that there were serious problems with the quality of the labour force, as the most talented and able people had been emigrating. Sergei Ivanenko also cited the data of official statistics: 2.5 million people left Russia for the past 15 years, while only 2 million emigrated for the entire Soviet period. According to Ivanenko, the emigrants mostly represented the country’s “intellectual capacity”.
Grigory Yavlinsky also noted that there were a lot of questions to the people running the economy in Russia. “Means of social mobility do not work, and are replaced by such criteria as loyalty and devotion to the modern political state. As a result, career bureaucrats with no economic experience run the economy, ” YABLOKO leader said. The top bureaucracy merged with the business, and this merger became “a cancerous tumor of the Russian economic system scattering its metastases in all sectors,” he said.
Grigory Yavlinsky also noted that if the authorities had the least chance to change nothing, they would use it. According to him, change of people in power bodies was needed and this should be done only via elections.
“The economy was turned into a servant, an instrument of implementation of a very narrow tasks set by the supreme power – preserving its power for an endless term and realisation of its foreign policy ambitions,” Grigory Yavlinsky said. He also added that the politics was not simply destroying the economy, it was robbing the country’s future.
The situation can be changed, but to accomplish this the state should take up a number of commitments, including abandoning of its search for exotic ways of stimulation of economic activities such as mobilisation of the economy, cease disputing ownership for the major assets, stop concentrating resources, abandon creation of insurmountable obstacles for business development in Russia.
“The main purpose of the Manifesto is that today the problem of the economy is in politics, in the irremovability of power, non-implementation of laws and irrational foreign policy,” Yavlinsky concluded.
Yevgeny Gontmakher, Deputy Director for Science in the Institute of the World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that before 2008 he thought that the economic situation could be corrected by technological solutions, but after the crisis he realized that the problem was in the state.
Gontmakher noted that the state itself was not able to pull itself by the hair out of the swamp, as Baron Munchausen did, this required action from the outside – participation in elections and public opinion pressure. Therefore, an economist decided to become YABLOKO authorized representative in the election campaign.