Editorial: the takeaway program
24.04.12 20:40 By Gazeta.ru editorial
In his speech in front of the state council, Russia's president and future Prime Minister offered "his view of the priorities of our country in the near future." He is going to step down from his office very soon and if nothing extraordinary happens, ascend to the post of Prime Minister, this speech could be considered as program for the future cabinet. Medvedev, though, said that "Concrete plans of work for the future government… must be presented to the State duma during the chairman of the government's appointment procedure", and now he just formulates his "Position on our country's development ideology." So the public hasn't heard anything concrete from their future Prime Minister.
But what's really interesting is that this very "ideology of development" is the same as Medvedev had during his presidency. All these slogans and his political agenda have remained the same: freedom, economic modernization, the decrease of state's participation in the economy, the decrease of its direct presence in it, the defense of entrepreneurs' rights, the stimulation of competition, the fight with the corruption, and of course, the strengthening of the courts.
As it happens, all that Medvedev declared when he started his presidency, remains his agenda when he is to take the prime minister's chair.
We can, of course, applaud Medvedev's principles. He hasn't changed his credo. But if he takes his work from the Kremlin to the Government House, we can worry if he has enough power to finish it all at his new post? Will the future Prime Minister seriously insist on his ideology?
In their benevolent wishes, he and his immediate boss Vladimir Putin agree on many things. Sometimes literally – in their promise to create 25 million new workplaces in the new economy instead of those ineffective in the old one. Well, all those talks about Medvedev's course as an alternative to Putin's are long in the past. Yet one other thing is interesting. What Medvedev used to talk about for many years and continues to discuss, were the real challenges Russia was facing. Used to face. Evidently, Russia will face them in the future, too.
The Prime Minister, as the head of the executive branch of power, will find it hard to fulfill the program promises of his own presidential term. All the more so since having much more power during his presidency, he couldn't fulfill them.
The reform of law enforcement practically failed, the condition in the courts hasn't improve. Medvedev talks about success in the war with corruption, but scarcely anyone will agree with this declaration. Political reform turns into farce, the creation of Public television is a bureaucratic simulation. The real diversification of the economy is still very far off, however the government advertises Skolkovo. Right when Medvedev, who supported the cuts in state's participation in the economy, moves from the Kremlin to the Government house at Krasnopresnenskaya quay, the new state corporation with special powers is being introduced in Siberia and the Russian Far East. In this situation, it's hard to follow your beliefs if your power doesn't grow but instead shrinks, and responsibility grows.
This is especially true when it's the personal responsibility of the prime minister to the new president in very unpleasant issues. State liabilities are high as ever, and the deficit of non-oil-generated budget puts Russia into total dependence on world oil prices. It's absolutely necessary to reform the pension system soon – and nobody will thank the prime minister for that. How can one think about his credo in this situation?
So we can sadly acknowledge that the important program ideas that Medvedev tried to fulfill and failed in the last 4 years, will now be even harder to fulfill. Even if he remains prime minister for all of Putin's 6-year presidency, a fact that no one can actually guarantee.
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