But Belarusians should not be underestimated.
From January 1, 2019, able-bodied citizens who are not employed will begin to receive "parasite's utility bills." Tens of thousands of Belarusians will be affected by the new Lukashenka's decree. Why should the authorities take such unpopular measures and will the Belarusian people answer? Site Сharter97.org asked these questions to Artsiom Charniak, the activist of the civil campaign European Belarus.
– This is an easy way to fill an empty budget. Why do not the authorities get on well with the IMF, other financial organizations, why does Lukashenka constantly stand on the Kremlin porch, stretching out his hand? All this happens because one should pay the debts. In time and with interest. It is for this reason that the authorities repeatedly turn to "internal resources."
That's how they came up with the idea to "squeeze out the juice" from the unemployed, plus to collect a quitrent from the Belarusians living abroad. We are dealing with racketeering at the state level.
– The main difference between the updated decree on "parasites" from the first version is the introduction of special commissions. How do you feel about the innovation of the authorities?
– Everyone knows perfectly well what kind of people are engaged in these "parasitic" commissions. "Deputies", police officers, teacher-falsifiers – such a good company. Many have already compared these "circles of interest" with "Stalin's Troikas."
Not a bad comparison. However, I would not make them such compliments. Stalin's empire did things in a big way; it was a machine of evil. While the "Lukashenka's Troikas" are a pathetic parody. The whole Lukashenka's system is a parody and a "soap bubble." The dictator is trying to copy the USSR. Yes, the system is evil, inhuman, but sham. Therefore, I would not call them "Stalin's Troikas". These are small dirty people who are ready to sell their neighbor for a sausage baton.
– Will the authorities stop at the "parasites"?
– You know, I would not be surprised if after the "parasites" the authorities will come after any other social groups. The regime constantly resorts to similar measures. Some time ago the authorities bleeded the sole traders dry, raised the retirement age, keep fining opposition activists, and now they decided to profit from the "parasites." If people swallow this trick, I would not be surprised that the days of war communism and surplus-appropriation will begin, when the authorities turn to total robbery.
– The first decree on "parasites" met with a rebuff. Should we expect the reaction of Belarusians to the new version of the decree?
– One can find one thousand reasons why the Belarusians will not go out to protest. Before the March of Disgruntled Belarusians, which took place last year and gave impetus to the whole protest movement, I heard a lot of criticism and blatant "whining." But the people did take to the streets. Despite all the forecasts. Therefore, we shouldn’t underestimate the Belarusians.