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: State of the Nation

The main event in the country’s politics never passes by the bloggers’ attention. This week it was the time of presidential State of the Nation address. All TV stations and state-controlled newspapers provided its aggressively propagandistic coverage, that bloggers were unhappy with [ru].

As megakhuimyak jokes, “our president does not need the always assenting people – that’s why when he says “No”, we all shall say “No”. [ru]

However, many observers felt quite sincerely positive about the speech, which was more realistic than the earlier ones, with more pragmatic and unpleasant things like the stressed need for economy.

A comprehensive review of the president’s address came from count-asylum, who notes the bookmarks – increased pressure on the foreign companies working in the extractive sector, taxation system reform, strengthening of the state-owned holdings and governmental regulation of the financial sphere together with a welcoming stance towards foreign banks [ru].

One of the most anticipated promises was facilitation of procedures and requirements for entrepreneurial activity, also declared by the president – however, not for the first time in recent years. But this time, few days after the speech, president Nazarbayev really commissioned the government to enact a moratorium on checks of small medium enterprises by the regulatory bodies.

“We have won!” reads the statement by Kazakhstan’s Entrepreneurs Forum, which nearly a week before the president’s address came out with a number of suggestions on improvement of business climate – and the lift of checks was among them [ru].

Another interesting development in the aftermath of the presidential speech was about his call for strict economy of resources and funds. Neweurasia blog portal featured a post on how this appeal correlates with the forthcoming celebrations of Astana’s tenth anniversary. The capital of Kazakhstan was moved to Astana from Almaty by president Nazarbayev 10 years ago. Then the Day of Astana was also moved to coincide with the president’s birthday.

Festivities were to last several months and include concerts of the world pop stars, Venice gondola show and Vienna ball and etc. etc. Few days after the post, president Nazarbayev urged the government to make the festivities more modest, Adam Kesher reports [ru].

Meanwhile, not everybody is rethinking politics in official terms. Nemtschin reflects on who could he be if the Soviet Union had not collapsed.

“Nine years after continuous work at one enterprise, I could receive a room in a “family-type dormitory”. I could be sitting now near a bad Soviet TV set, wearing old tracksuit and gym-shoes made in Vietnam, drinking bad Soviet beer and dreaming of bad Soviet car. Now I have a flat stuffed with electronic stuff, two cellular phones, tons of foreign clothes. I can afford a good cognac or red wine, and I drive a good foreign car. Life’s good” [ru].

1 comment

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.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site