21 February 2019, Thursday, 20:11
Appeal of the BPR Rada

The Ministry of Idleness

Iryna Khalip

That's how the "Belarusian dream" looks like.

When Pippi Longstocking wanted to by a circus, her way of thinking was as follows: "Clowns and madams will be lodged somehow, but it's worse with horses." Sometimes I regret that our officials can't be bought in stores. I would also lodge clowns and madams somehow and give up on horses. Anyway, I would buy the staff of the Ministry of Labour together with the NSSF (the National Social Security Fund), and let them tweet all day long. No other entertainments are needed. After all, what may be more exciting than this primitive tweeting?

Everything they talk about - pensions, parental leaves, parasite commissions, insurance contributions - sounds great. I listen spellbound to it. They have recently started the sick-leaves topic. To be more precise, that they is about to be abolished, anyway, first three days. The Ministry has long been concerned about the increased expenditures for sick leaves. Minister Kastsevich told about it in winter. She promised "to hold a thorough analysis of the phenomenon and develop corresponding measures".

And then... I'm so fond of this "and then"! The analysis was apparently carried out by June. They found out why Belarusians fell ill so often. They came up with a great idea: they offer to pay for a sick leave starting from the fourth day, so that a citizen could be sick at his one expense, despite of all his taxes and contributions to the NSSF. Because, as it turns out, a sick leave motivates a person to be sick.

That's how the "Belarusian dream" looks like. That's what all compatriots strive for. They rush to a polyclinic to stand in a long queue at 7 am. And then to spend there haf-day ignoring constant "I just want to ask". And then to hear "I will not close your sick leave unless you submit to tests. You can do it tomorrow at 8 am." And to annoy "Please, close it, I don't want to be here anymore." To stand in the queue to get a stamp on your sick leave. To wait until watchful deskwoman thumbs through a passport to check the registration. Of course, we're the world's IT capital and, according to officials, are enlisted in dozens of databases, with computers at every public institution able to provide with every information about you, but these deskwomen thumb through all the same. (They can advertise the IT-economy, can't they?) Then they look thoroughly at border crossing stamps: what if a flu-like villain managed to visit Bialystok market when he was ill.

Yes, Belarusians are striving to get a sick leave. We see them coughing everywhere we go - banks, stores, post office, but they persistently stay at a work place. And the Ministry of Labour has finally showed them up in their true colours and made them work. They are those who have wasted the state's money and deprived the country of prosperity. They are to blame for "$500-salary" has been a pipe dream for more than two decades, as well as "a separate apartment for every Soviet family".

To be serious, all reasonings of officials that Belarusians want to be on a sick leave amid the current sick pay system are the other prove of the state's attitude towards people. The regime treats citizens as swindlers. Pretenders who steal the state's money. Nine million of swindlers, what's a misfortune! They are called differently - lice-ridden fleas, the fifth column, rogues. That's how it's done in Belarus. The people are to blame if the treasery lacks money. Because they go on sick leaves, make purchases abroad, do not save money in Belarusian banks, even ignore lottery and state con games. Such people do not contribute to the overcoming the crisis and the band aid approach in the pension fund. They are rogues.

Well, I will likely restrain from lodging these clowns and madams, even if they are sold at the lowest price. It's not a good entertainment to listen to them. As far as they start speaking, we already know what they end with. Their arsenal misses either ideas or initiatives. They are all primitive. It's both boring and sickening to hear them.

Iryna Khalip, specially for Charter97.org