Migration in Belarus has reached its maximum.
Belstat has recently admitted that more than three million Belarusians have no money for the minimum set of products and services. Official statistics has become inured to ironing out difficulties and to downplaying the data in its reports, but this time striking figures are made public, which means that the deal is really rotten.
Charter97.org tried to learn about the real situation with the welfare of Belarusians and asked Barysau entrepreneur Viktar Harbachou for comments.
- I completely agree with Belstat now. But this figures may be even greater. Among people living in Belarus now, more than three million cannot afford themselves even the minimum set of products and services.
People survive. Just imagine that 30-35% of Belarusians are supported by their kitchen gardens, their relatives. 24 years of Lukashenka in power have driven the country into poverty.
- According to Global Wealth Report, which assesses welfare worldwide, Belarusians are in the bottom of the list. The situation is better even in Cameroon and Mount Kenya. Does the African poverty turn to be the Belarusian reality?
- You see, we live in the center of Europe, but our economic rating shows the level of countries with no money to reach Europe.
It's essential, when the country's authorities try to put their hand in people's mouth.
Here is the situation with tobacco shops popping up like mushrooms after a spring rain. Interests of people fall victim to interests of inner circle. Belarus has found itseld at the bottom of the rating.
What place should we take in the rating, if Belarusian special services spend millions of dollars for wiretapping of activists? I had no possibility to answer questions (several times the call was cut off - Charter97.org's note). It's a shame.
- Chairman of the Republican Confederation of Entrepreneurship Uladzimir Kariahin stated that if no changes occurred in the country, two million young Belarusians would leave the country.
- This is our reality. Really, if you walk along the city, you mention less people on the streets. Some people try to get on a roll and apply for Green Card, others get their "Polish Card". Migration has reached its maximum. People leave even for Australia.
I will cite a simple example. The entrepreneur I know has recently returned from Smolensk and opened business in Barysau; she went bankrupt and left for Smolensk again. The country does not need entrepreneurs.
Here I absolutely agree with Karyahin. I believe that around two million people are packed and ready to go. This is figure is reliable. People want a better life. The migration will only grow.
- People leaving abroad are automatically added to the "parasite" list. It means hundreds of thousands of Belarusians or even millions. What advice could you give people who are subject to Decree No. 1?
- People boycott this decree. And I offer them to continue this practice. Every day our authorities adopt new decrees and regulations to squeeze money out of people.
Let's ignore the authorities; you do not need provide information to commissions. Let's support our families, independent media. Let's cover problems of the society, come together. If we mention that authorities try to pressure hard, we can repeat protests of 2017. And no one will be able to stop us.
- The Belarusian society has divided into ordinary citizens and people called "Drazdy". What may this division result in?
- We should admit that the authorities came up with this division, not ordinary people. Lukashenka has recently stated that Belarusians leaving abroad are afterthoughts. In my opinion, it's caddish behaviour. The power itself drives a wedge between people. It will be no good.
People on the streets complain that officials just sit in their offices and pass decrees, and people have to work for 300 rubles a month. Time may come when the authorities ask people for support, and people reject it. Belarusians will defend their families, their state and each other, but not thieving officials.