It's exausting to live in the "country of decrees".
How does a small business survive in Belarus? The authorities report on the unprecedented "liberalization" granted to Belarusian entrepreneurs by Decree No. 7. But what is the picture in deed?
"Entrepreneurs are pushed over the edge. Those who work on a market work at zero, this is the best option. Nothing is earned, we eat bread and milk", entrepreneur and public activist from Baranavichy Mikalai Charnavus told Charter97.org in the interview.
- Do you see fruits of the promised "liberalization" in business?
- God, what a nonsense! I have not heard of any liberalization. We live the years 1937, it only misses public security officers with guns. Entrepreneurs are short of money to pay the rent, empty trading spots are confiscated. Trading points are seized without due process of law. Was it that the authorities meant when they talked about the liberalization? Earlier the court hearing was mandatory, now it is not. The ligislation is simplified.
Decree No. 7, Decree No. 1, Decree No. 3 - it's the same old song. It's exausting to live in the "country of decrees", in reality, the country of fools.
Entrepreneurs are pushed over the edge. Those who work on a market work at zero, this is the best option. Nothing is earned, we eat bread and milk.
But for credits and debts, we would have our business closed down.
- But it means "sponger list".
- That's right. The authorities play the Russian roulette with us. If you leave the business - you're a "sponger", if you work until you retire - a beggar. Do you know the pension entrepreneurs get? It's only 180 rubles! Who does want the future like it? No one wants to be engaged in business. There is no work, only dismissals grow in number.
People go to the market ask for a job, there are even those who agree to work for 100 rubles. But the business is not ready to accept them, we are running low on funds.
- What can cause this shortfall policy?
- You know, "black swans" have already gained height. There are a lot of signs which prove irreversible processes in our economy. I know people who have nothing to eat. It has not happened since the war. People say they starve for five days, ten days. What's next? Stamps?
I wait for the events of the last year to reoccur, when "spongers" stepped up first, and then Belarusians who cared joined them. This is a normal reaction of a mature society.
We are the one to divide ourselves into castes: "spongers", businessmen, opposition. We think that only "spongers" should be concerned. It's a stuff and nonsense. Just take a look at the history of our country. There was a the strike against the opposition in 2010, then businessmen suffered, now the time of "spongers" has come. Until we adhere to "it's not my business" principle, we will be suffering.
Belarusians should be like a big family. If a brother-"sponger" is offended, then it requires a response, as well as offence of an activist. This is the only option to let Belarus be free.