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Lukashenko threatens to sack govt. if crises continue

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The Belarusian government will be sacked if they fail to provide daily positive developments in the economy, President Alexander Lukashenko said on Friday.

The Belarusian government will be sacked if they fail to provide daily positive developments in the economy, President Alexander Lukashenko said on Friday.

"There must be positive developments, every day, and if there are no such developments, you, [Prime Minister] Mikhail [Myasnikovich], and you, [National bank chief] Pyotr [Prokopovich], will be the first to step down," he said.

He demanded them to deal with the existing deficit of goods in Belarusian shops and curb price growth.

"Let me warn you: if you fail to fulfill my demands, heads will roll. You won't be able to turn me into a crisis manager again," Lukashenko said.

The president also called on Belarusians to stop stockpiling goods.

"Calm down, the prices won't grow any further, they are already beyond all limits," the Belarusian leader said.

Belarus has no plans of agreeing to privatize state assets worth $7.5 billion to receive a loan from the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC).

EurAsEC, a regional economic grouping established by some ex-Soviet republics and led by Russia, said privatization was a precondition for the $3-billion bailout package Belarus requested.

"There will be no bandit sales of this country," Lukashenko said.

Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin said Belarusian authorities agreed to submit a list of privatization assets within the next three months.

"Certain politicians from abroad are already lining up and shouting that tomorrow Lukashenko will start selling assets of our marketable enterprises," the Belarusian leader said. "Tell those in the line to get out; there will be no sales, especially for nothing, as they want."

In the first quarter of this year, the Belarusian ruble experienced pressure from a large trade deficit, generous wage increases and loans granted by the government ahead of presidential elections, which spurred strong demand for foreign currency.

As a result, Belarus's central bank has devalued the ruble to 4,930 per dollar from 3,155, while the government has applied for a $1 billion loan from Russia and a $2 billion loan from EurAsEC to stabilize the currency market.

MINSK, May 27 (RIA Novosti) 

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