Innovations, indeed, are "impressive."
The head of the Lukashenka Administration, Natallia Kachanava said that updated Decree No. 3 would be submitted for consideration by Lukashenka in the near future and would affect half a million people.
Innovations, as Kachanava says, are really "impressive": "spongers" will be obliged to pay for services that are now allowable by the state in full, visits to hospitals can become racking luxury, and the heating in winter will cost five times more.
It is worth recalling that the scandalous decree became the key impetus for mass street protests this spring.
The representative of the Belarusian National Congress in Brest and the active participant of protest actions against the tax on "spongers", Andrei Sharenda, told Charter97.org about further steps of 500 thousand Belarusians who would receive "letters of happiness" from the tax authorities,
- How do you assess the new edition of the decree on "spongers"?
- The Lukashenka's regime is trying once again to get into the pocket of Belarusians by reviving this scandalous Decree No.3. They say that there will be a new edition, but it is well-known how it is made. They just reformulate some of phrases, and the meaning of the decree is still the same - to make people work for pennies. Those who do not agree will simply be forced to pay more for rent bills which are already racking high amid low quality of services.
- How can half a million unemployed respond to it when they receive "letters of happiness"?
- 500 thousand "spongers" within the framework of Belarus are a shocking figure. After all, according to official data, unemployment is less than one percent. I am confident that if the authorities decide to affect half a million people, even more large-scale protests will begin than in the spring.
As I understand, the authorities want to withdraw money from Belarusians who work abroad. But if we count all workers abroad, we will see how many Belarusians "vote with their feet" against the Lukashenka's regime. I am sure that the "parasitic" decree will hurt back the dictator himself.
- The situation with wages in the country is that, for example, the BelAZ driver in Luninets earned $4.2 a month. Is there any sense for people to hold on to such salaries so that not to be considered "spongers"?
- In small towns people have to hold on to miserable salaries, as there are no alternative jobs. But residents of large cities are seeking ways to leave the country in search of earnings in the same Lithuania, Poland, Russia. Brest here is the best example.
People do not want to work for salaries of $50- $100. Residents of Brest region are leaving.
Now the common problem for Belarusians is the lack of money. Over the past year people have survived by eating away their savings. Belarusians exchanged money they earned over the past 10 years or raised on the sale of property. Now it is clear that the last money runs dry and people are at a loss. Therefore, economic emigration is the only possible and temporary way out especially for young people, unless the change of power.
It seems to me that by spring, when the problems in the country become acute, people's sentiment will turn to a protest one.
- The new edition of the scandalous document assumes that "spongers" will pay for the services that are currently being subsidized by the state in full. What can this lead to?
- First, in order to pay in full, the quality and choice of services must meet international standards. We do not have it now. Services provided by medical institutions or public services do not completely meet the money paid for them.
Obviously, the unemployed will not pay, they have no money. "Spongers" will look for different ways to avoid payment. As a result, it will cause big debts on housing and utility services.
As for public health, the Belarusians will turn to private clinics. And even now many people choose private institutions. I personally do not go to state polyclinics, I am completely not satisfied with the quality of their services. Of course, expensive medicine will affect the health of people with low-income.
- What do Belarusians need to do to prevent further absurd initiatives of the authorities?
- Methods of peaceful resistance which have led to changes in many countries should be practiced. For example, refusal to participate in "elections", clean-up events and so on. It's necessary to ignore all government proposals, boycott all the events organized by the state and pro-government television and media. This variant is suitable for everyone. The next step is the Square. A better life requires fight.