Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Kazakhstan: Economic Crisis Aftermaths

In the aftermath of slight economic and financial crisis, which the government prefers to call a “correction of the market”, the bloggers keep on discussing its consequences.

Sarimov says that the annual Kazakhstan’s Congress of Financiers has been postponed indefinitely. Mr. Saidenov, chairman of the National Bank, explained that the “president gave us his instructions, so the situation is clear, and the tasks given to the banking sector are clear also. No need to discuss them”, he said. An attempt to curtail discussions raises concerns of the blogger. “They are frightened”, he opines, supposing that some kind of political backwash can be expected next year.

Syndikator reflects on the government’s stipulation that the “poverty line” is calculated as 40 per cent of the cost of living. “Apparently, if I fail to earn this 40 per cent of the living wage, I would hardly survive. But is I managed to obtain, say, 43 per cent, I cannot be regarded as a poor man. Dura lex…”

Meanwhile, Wondernews is wondering what were the roots of the recent real estate crisis in Kazakhstan. He listened to one of the forbidden materials – interception of the phone conversations that sporadically appear on the web – the one in which top officials are “collecting” funds for the ruling party’s campaign during the August 2007 parliamentary elections. Among the companies that “donated” money were both of the major construction companies of the country. “Maybe this is the reason of bankruptcy of the mortgage market?” he asks provocatively.

Xxrock analyzes another issue – a government’s crackdown on the illegally built villas in the national parks near the biggest city of Kazakhstan – Almaty. “The conclusion about corruption in the city administrations is an open secret. There is a much more interesting question – all of the facts [when the land was given to the top officials] represent breach of the law and should be prosecuted. But only those officials who pose a threat to the clannish system of power can be brought to court in Kazakhstan”, he says, referring to the prosecutors’ decision not to file criminal cases against those offenders.

Steve LeVine never gets tired to observe developments in the oil sector of the Caspian states, including Kazakhstan. He reports that a fresh concession by Chevron and ExxonMobil is evidence of the shrinking influence of the big oil companies in Kazakhstan: “After years of playing tough guy on the Caspian Sea, the two companies have knuckled under and paid their share of a whopping $309 million environmental fine to the country”, he says. Moreover, he opines that Italy's Eni, negotiating on behalf of many of the world's largest oil companies with Kazakhstan, will try to satisfy the government’s demands and proceed with the development of the giant oil filed Kashagan.

Note: All links lead to posts in Russian, except Steve LeVine's blog.

3 comments

  • […] Global Voices: Kazakhstan: Economic crisis aftermaths […]

  • Thanks Adil for the latest. I’m sure you’ve tracked the fresh reportage that Eni might not be a shoo-in after all to retain the operatorship of Kashagan. It’s interesting that it is taking so many weeks to settle this issue. It shows that it’s not going to be easy to settle Kazakhstan’s main issue, and that’s obtaining a larger piece of the field for itself. Best,

    Steve LeVine, author
    The Oil and the Glory
    http://www.oilandglory.com

  • Adil

    Yes, Steve, thanks for the comment.
    Is that true that all ENI top managers hastily left Kazakhstan last week for no particular reason?

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.