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Republic

19 October 2011

Lukashenko sees no reasons for food price hike

MINSK, 19 October (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko sees no reasons for the further food price increase. The President made this statement at a meeting on 18 October, BelTA learnt from the presidential press service. “Many complain that prices are rising and call for curbing them. We should no way do it now. Naturally, we need to apply control to ensure discipline; however, it is not the point. The prices here have grown to the point when they can affect customer demand. Prices cannot keep rising in the same way anymore,” the head of state said. “If we look around at other countries we will get an impression that we are living in some panicking and crisis-stricken world. What we have experienced will only make us stronger. We have gone through all this already. Our people have gone through this; they have endured and survived. They will have to face it. We will have to suffer some losses,” the President said. “Of course, we could freeze prices tomorrow. What are the prices for milk and meat made of? These are the salaries of farmers. We have virtually leveled them off for the first time. Do not blame me for some price issues. Yes, some beef somewhere might be too expensive, but it is nothing. If they, I mean farmers, do not take advantage of the current situation, this will be a disaster. Mikhail Rusyi says that the situation with paying off the loans is more or less ok. That means we gave an opportunity to our producers to settle the debt. This is also a great achievement,” the Belarusian leader underlined. “They want so much to stir up the situation to turn the country upside down. They have already tried, but failed – the so-called People’s Congress brought together only 120 people. People understand it, but we still should show them what might happen. They should see that now we could put a squeeze on everything, but in this case the store shelves will get empty the following day,” Alexander Lukashenko said. Addressing the governors, the President noted that more efforts should be applied on a grass-route level to improve the living standards of people. “Let us do this not only through presidential decrees, but also at the local level. You know better whom to support. Make sure directors support their employees depending on their efficiency,” the head of state said. The President emphasized that an action plan has been outlined. “We have thousands of options. We have chosen these options. We do not have other ones,” Alexander Lukashenko concluded.

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