17 June 2019, Monday, 9:18
We are in the same boat

Art To Wring Out

Iryna Khalip

Commissions on parasites are like fraudulent realtors.

The Minister of Labour reports that first commissions have already turned to work. Pruzhany and Kamyanets districts are ahead of the curve. It's clear that Minsk is another story: there are no "fools" to enter these commissions. What if neighbors find you and spoil the door with dog's poop? Most like, Minsk will be the last in the list to get involved in the fight with the unemployed, but it's not about promptness. The date is fixed. It's next January 1. Happy New Year, comrades!

All this time I've been trying to find a dirty trick here. It is clear there are several of them, but I've failed to catch it. Journalists and civil right defenders have already mentioned that the fight with parasitism means a large-scale collection of personal data and access to it. It has been also said that the state hates those who are free and do not expect the contract extension, do not beg a credit or a benefit and do not know about infamous single "shop window". But something else is still veiled. And it's true.

Have you heard the news about families evicted for arrears in utility bills? And now let's imagine 1 January 2019 has come, and the unemployed receive new utility bills the height of the heating season. The state has counted 250 thousand potential spongers. How many apartments will be free until summer? That's what I'm talking about.

Commissions on parasites voluntarily try on the suit of fraudulent realtors. In addition, they have a database with addresses. Let's imagine a relative makes a call to a commission member: "Dear, I'd like to live closer to my children. Can you check out apartments in the district... Well, it's great. Evict them or confirm Medical-Labour Centre! And I will buy it at a bargain. See you, I'll make it up to you."

And all these commission members will live high off the hog. And it will be legal. There is no more need to secretly kill unemployed apartment owners; it's enough to add them to the database, to make them pay utility bills in full, and to evict. It's a great scheme under the guise of fight with parasitism. It's one more relatively legal method to wring out an apartment of a Belarusian. But if fraudulent realtors realize that one day they will be arrested, these in commissions know for sure that no one will come, even tax authorities, when they build up their houses in water conservation areas.

Do not say that it will never touch upon you, that you will always manage to have enough to cover rent bills. No one can be sure. No one will ever know the place one can fall down. No one can predict whether a person takes a stand till the very end or gives up, falls ill, loses a job/family, or goes on the bottle. It's the case when "it can happen to everyone" is the most applicable. It can, of course. And no one will come to rescue. But the commission on parasites will enlist you, and it will be the way to hell.

Do those who have come up with it fail to realize a great opportunity for crimes they create? Well, I've lost my train of thought. They do realize. They are criminals.

Iryna Khalip, specially for Charter97.org