Prosecution of directors and officials may have a bitter end for the regime.
This opinion was expressed by Leanid Zaika, the head of Strategy analytical centre as he commented on initiating a criminal case against a former director of Mogilevdrev wood processing company, Salidarnast reports.
“I don't think that wood processing plants are especially bad or that criminals run them,” the economist says. “They are ordinary directors and engineers. 700 million dollars and a decision to upgrade the sector are 15 years late. It should have been carried out in 1996-1997, when the similar upgrading processes were held in Russia and Ukraine. Now we buy component parts from our neighbours. It's not wise to put a gun to directors' heads and press on them after 15 years, though they asked themselves to leave them a part of profits for upgrading. I was present at such meetings during visits of World Bank's missions. Everyone was asking to allow leaving a slice of profits for upgrading.”
The expert says the authorities squeezed everything from the furniture industry and decided to punish it now.
“The Belarusian model was the most effective exporting cluster in the 1990s,” Leanid Zaika notes. “They suddenly realised the situation 15 years later and began to harass specialists. From a historical point of view, they made a strategic mistake in the furniture sector. They ignored it completely and were just bleeding it white. The government made mistakes. Companies asked to give them time to recover. I sympathise with directors. These criminal cases should have been initiated against those who were in the government at that time.”
Zaika thinks it is both silly and dangerous to initiate criminal cases against top managers of wood processing companies.
“It's impractical and dangerous to open such criminal cases against executive officers. Officials didn't realise it yet or they are working against the president. It was announced that 13,000 officials will be cut. Directors of enterprises faced harassment. Such actions can provoke an overthrow organised by the nomenclatura,” Leanid Zaika sums up.
It should be reminded that criminal cases were initiated against a former director and three managers of Mogilevdrev wood processing company.