Kazakhstan: Rumors and Crises

The Kazakhstani bloggers always closely keep an eye on the economic developments, justifyably linking the problems in development with shortcomings of the political system, poor governance and weak investments into human capital.

What still causes sincere amazement in Kazakhstan is a Stoic serenity of the higher officials, responsible for the so-called “breakthrough projects”. What yesterday used to be a pride of the government, today is rapidly becoming a trash and profanation. The whole last week everybody in Kazakhstan was debating about failure of the Unified National Test [a test-based examination for the graduates of high schools and university entrants at the same time], shutdown of the first Kazakh satellite and corruption,

sarimov writes [rus]. Programmilla elaborates further on the Unified Test [rus]:

The results are depressing. The national average score is 68 out of 120. The threshold for entry to the universities is lowered down to 45 from 50. So, a graduate with only 45 out of 120 is actually considered to be able to study in the university, on a paid basis. Then why do we need this test at all – why not just letting children continue study automatically?

For almost two last months Kazakhstan was swarmed with rumors around the head of the state and socio-political outlook in general. One of the most noteworthy were hearsays that the president is allegedly ill and is about to resign soon; that the president's alleged double is currently replacing him; that after Astana celebrations the country's economy will collapse, the national currency will be ruined; that the parliament will be dissolved; and finally that Almaty will be striken by the destroying earthquake etc. Alim-atenbek reacts [rus]:

I am not inclined to trust or disseminate those rumors. But all this stuff is a reflection of anxiety in the society. I think it is connected most of all with the crisis developments in the economy – high inflation, unemployment, landslide of prices for housing, lack of access to credit.

Meanwhile, although the whole economy did not collapse after the Astana festivities, the instability continues taking place. The kazakhstan community in LiveJournal informs that the price for diesel fuel, which is one of the main inflation catalysts because it is used in agriculture and commercial transportation, sharply jumped up by nearly 10% [rus]. At the same time, miss-crazy marks out an amusing detail [rus]:

Everybody is talking about crisis. But it is sometimes funny to listen to the news like this: police has detained a gang, which was robbing people near currency exchange points. One of the victims had $100,000 in cash, the second loser had $87,000, the third one was a poor thing with only 50,000 – also, certainly, in cash… It looks like the meridian of crisis passes in some other place, not here…

Cross posted on neweurasia

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