People in Russia have only just begun to feel the real effects of the economic crisis 2014-15, said the head of CEPR Nikolay Mironov.
Russia has sharply increased the number of protests — in the third quarter of 2017, compared to the first quarter, which is 60 percent more.
Show completely… According to the Center for economic and political reforms (CEPR), conducting monitoring and published data from this study on its website, the main boost in the growth of protest activity given the social and economic orientation. What causes growth of discontent of citizens and the forms in which it may appear, to an observer of “Rosbalt” said the head of CEPR Nikolay Mironov.
— How do you explain such a significant increase in the number of protests in the third quarter of 2017? Whether in this case it is about the seasonality?
— Of course, the seasonal factor is present. It is clear that in the beginning of the year, especially in January, in Russia protests are always less. In addition, in December usually paid wage arrears or solved some of the other social problems. However, now the growth of protest activity is quite large. In particular, in the third quarter of 2017 significant growth in such performances is associated with a large number of demonstrations of defrauded investors. Now they are in the top socio-economic issues. Also remains high protest potential truck drivers. In different regions of the country Express their discontent farmers trying to unite. For example, now the active protests have taken place not only in the Krasnodar region, but also in the Omsk region.
Amid rising unpaid wages nearly three times (compared to the first quarter), and increases the number of labor conflicts. And it’s just the seasonality can not explain. This, incidentally, can be considered a response to the Russian President, who recently held a meeting, including, and on this subject… I Think after a couple months we can get a serious growth of protests in this area.
— What are the reasons for the growth of social tension?
— I would have said about the trend of accumulation of the effect of the crisis (2014-2015). The fact that he felt not at once and not all. About it spoke much, everyone started to fasten their seat belts, was panic, but the wallet and social status of people so much, then, he is not hit. Now, the ordinary consumer is gradually coming to a critical point. This is confirmed by our, not only our research, when, in particular, the calculated and real wages, and prices. Recent years, the negative change of the accumulated income is not growing, expenses had increased, and very serious. This is starting to affect different spheres of life. Due to the fact that the people are impoverished, ruined and entrepreneurs.
Hence the discontent of the businessmen, who pay attention to high taxes, levies, administrative burdens, all that prevents them from living. Generally, in this environment we can see high level of dissatisfaction with the policies of the country, for example, of sanctions, because they had a negative impact on the business sector.
The crisis begins to respond and the elite. Yes, representatives of big business is not impoverished, and many, on the contrary, even increased income, or poorer relatively, lost something, but remained quite wealthy. However, they have changed their economic behavior. If they had invested money in manufacturing, but now the money to leave and transferred to the sector that are the least affected by the crises. On the contrary, currency fluctuations, oil prices lead to the fact that there are more profitable to earn. And here we observe such a situation when large oligarchs bankrupts your company, and making it roughly, throwing people, leaving them without pay and withdraw money. It is also the consequences of the crisis.
For example, “Plato” — is also a product of the crisis, an attempt to collect more money from small businesses, truckers and. What makes big business against the farmers, against the shareholders — also a direct consequence of the economic crisis.
— What is in all this the role of the state in your opinion?
— The problem is not only in crisis, and in fact, how the government works. And it works with him outrageously. First, we have no crisis agenda, there is no support for any consumer, not the entrepreneur, with the exception of large consumers and banks. Banks get money, and businesses — no. Small and medium businesses also hardly get any support. The consumer is not protected from rising prices.
In principle, the state just goes with the flow, waiting for more expensive oil. But when there is a conflict, then the state is also not able to work. Many protests could pay in the beginning, when the debt, for example, has not accumulated, and the businessman has not had time to close the plant.
In most cases, the state is idle. Often we suspect corruption and collusion, when the entrepreneur is working in close conjunction with local government, which covers…
In particular, it is possible to tell about a situation with debts under the salary to miners in the Rostov region. Local authorities, while there have been accumulating debts for a long time inactive. Moreover, debt was piling up not only on salaries, but even on taxes. Then she began to respond sluggishly. This inability to work with social problems, attempts to solve them by force, the landing of the activists or against them unleashing of information warfare, further fueled conflicts in the country.
— The largest increase in protest activity in the country given the socio-economic problems. How do you explain it?
— All I have said, and gives rise to socio-economic protests. Some of the reasons due to crisis and ruin. The second set of reasons stems from inefficiency of the state, of his inability to perform their functions. Another reason is the high corruption. Farmers protest largely due to the seizure of land, crops, creation of monopolies with the tacit support of the state is a direct product of corruption. The same truckers protested due to the introduction of the “Plato” also is associated with the imposition of illegal taxes on the already poor people.
— How you consider, whether it is possible to speak about a certain trend of rising protests and the long term transition of increasing their number to a new quality?
— I do not see that there is some sort of Union protests in the country. Attempts to this were made, but in order to join, you need to have a common agenda. But this really is only possible on the basis of political demands. Yet political demands, the unification of disparate social protests cannot go beyond their industries, segments. There are attempts by associations of truckers, shareholders, labor collectives. But they don’t have some General, all-Russian stock, it’s still a divided protest. The politicization of these processes is rather slow. People afraid to voice political demands. Because when it comes to politics, immediately starts looming figure of a lawman, activists can suffer. Somewhere they can be fined, and somewhere to bring a case…
In addition, people who decided their specific problem, is not ready to talk about politics. The people we have in this regard is not so easy going. The political culture we have does not guide them to action, it never happened.
At the same time, the gradual politicization is, the discontent in the country increases, people in the regions a lot of bad talking about the government and even the President, but until it develops into some kind of active phase. I think, too early to say that this process has already begun. Revolutionary, radical sentiment in the country. Whether the accumulation of this mass of critical opinion — depends on how the regime continues to behave. It is obvious that in the near future, the economy will not recover.
Will it turn the critical mood in new quality — it depends, as the ideologues of the revolution, our political consciousness. Then maybe people will realize that they can’t put political issues. This desirable institutions, party, trade Union type that could organize and unite. Unfortunately, we have this field pretty seriously tipped. While there is no one who would work with this agenda. Bulk we now do not take, because these guys are working for themselves. They create the headquarters, not the party. And different things.
— On the publication of your report on the growing protests in Russia responded by many. In particular, the press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov. According to him, the growth of social activity of Russians is associated with the pre-election year. What can you say about this?
— Peskov said that the report itself, CEPR he had not yet seen, but I would say that these documents should be read because they, in particular, talks about why the protests, which are connected with the shortcomings of the authorities, including. We are talking about the fact that many of the problems which people participate in the protest cannot be solved without the participation of the authorities. So don’t get complacent, as soon as it appears that people are not against the President, and for their socio-economic rights. It is no less dangerous for the authorities and this needs to be addressed.
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