Grigory Yavlinsky: It is necessary to form public pressure so that to return Russia to the European way of development
Grigory Yavlinsky, Chairman of the Federal Political Committee of the YABLOKO party, made a speech in front of the delegates of the congress of the Democratic Choice party, which takes place in Moscow today. Yavlinsky said that the emergence of a responsible and reasonable right-liberal party would be a great benefit for Russia, and called for a public pressure to return Russia to the European way of development.
Yavlinsky devoted his speech to economic issues. He noted that in the current situation discussion of discussion of economic programmes and policies would be senseless. Yavlinsky compared programmes with an attempt to put down in some regulations at which point it would be necessary to press a pedal in the car and which way to rotate the wheel, rather than finding out if the car was in order and whether the driver was a sane person.
He assessed the “machine” of the Russian economy as a very small (2 per cent of the global GDP) and non-competitive (as Russia had only two competitive goods – raw materials and weapons). In addition, Yavlinsky also noted low productivity of labour in Russia and weak technological equipment of Russian industry.
He said that almost all of the resources were in the hands of the state, the private sector was crushed and discredited by the government. Yavlinsky recalled that in the law suit with YUKOS shareholders the Russian side had officially announced that the company had been created in a burglarious and criminal way, which, according to Yavlinsky, cast a shadow on all Russia’s private businesses in the international arena.
Yavlinsky noted that property rights had been contingent in Russia. “Today you are an owner, and tomorrow you are an offender. You are an investor until the moment you are going to invest money, right after this you are a swindler,” he said.
Yavlinsky said that “the driver of the car”, i.e. all those who control the economy, were career bureaucrats: “These are people who sit on the administrative rent, they are firmly connected to this rent. It is naïve to think that they may change something.”
YABLOKO leader added that no economic instruments could change the situation; the system could be changed only by political means. The changes could take place only outside the system, not inside it.
“The economy has begun serving the politics, it serves the interests of a narrow group of people. In recent years, it has been serving the foreign policy ambitions of this small group of people,” Grigory Yavlinsky said. According to him, the main purpose of the economy in the current situation was maintaining this group in power for an indefinite period of time. He noted that such policies would lead to economic backwardness of Russia.
“A modern economy can not exist in the situation of state’s lies. A market economy requires trust, objectives, understanding and communication between the state and the people,” YABLOKO leader said.
Grigory Yavlinsky also told about the first steps that should be taken to remedy the situation. He said that the task would be to provide “a clear and precise definition of where the state has the right to do in the economy, and where it has no right.”
Among the restrictions for state Yavlinsky singled out termination of the discussion about calls on the Russian “exotic and specific way of development”. There should be put an end to challenging private property – both large and small-scale. The third step is to stop concentrating the resources in the hands of the state. The fourth step is to cease introducing new restrictions in cross-border movement of foreign capital.
In addition Yavlinsky noted that the state should not adopt any important business decisions without discussing them with the business community. Information policies should not harm businesses. Those destroying entrepreneurship should be held accountable. Yavlinsky also added that this responsibility should be addressed to President Putin.
It is necessary to change the foreign policies of the country and return to Russia “on the main path of its development – the European way”, Grigory Yavlinsky stressed. According to him, the return of the country to the European way of development should be “the task for all responsible political forces”.
“We must create public pressure in favour of these changes, aiming at these prospects. While we do not have it, while there are no groups demanding these changes, nothing will change, and everything will just come to decay. Time is running out,” he concluded.