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Neo-lib ideas putting brake on Russia’s economic growth, veteran politician says

January 14, 2014, 9:01 UTC+3 MOSCOW
It’s important to point out a huge gap between neo-liberalism — especially in the economy — and the truly liberal requirements, Dr. Primakov said
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Dr. Yevgeny Primakov

Dr. Yevgeny Primakov

© ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, January 14, 7:47 /ITAR-TASS/. Neoliberal ideas were the root-cause of a slowdown of economic growth in Russia in 2013, Dr. Yevgeny Primakov, a patriarch of Russian politics and one of this country’s former Prime Ministers said Monday as he took the floor at a meeting Merkuriy Club, of which he is president.

Neoliberals insist on the government’s earliest possible pullout from the economy, while this course of action may exert a highly deplorable impact on its condition, he said.

“Would it be justified to claim that market mechanisms can ensure economic growth in Russia on their own today?” Dr. Primakov said. “No, of course not.”

He indicated that only big corporations, including the government-run companies, have a sufficient investment potential for implementing large-scale projects necessary for Russia’s development today.

“Given the underdeveloped character of free competition here, there’s but a slim hope that small and medium-sized business can take on the role of a drive engine of development,” Dr. Primakov said.

Along with it, he called on the audience to refrain from mixing up neo-liberalism and the genuine liberal values.

“It’s important to point out a huge gap between neo-liberalism - especially in the economy - and the truly liberal requirements like independence of the judiciary, struggle with corruption, incorruptibility of civil servants, or a mandatory observance of law,” Dr. Primakov said.

Adepts of neoliberal ideas in the economy do not take account of the level of economic relations in Russia or the world experience gained after the crisis of 2008, he believes.

“In essence, representatives of this school of thought deny that freedom and democracy are quite compatible with certain restrictions in favor of public interests,” Dr. Primakov said.

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