22 April 2021, Thursday, 6:13
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Former Labor Minister: Power Has Driven Itself into Debt Bondage

Former Labor Minister: Power Has Driven Itself into Debt Bondage
Aliaksandr Sasnou
Photo: Radio Svaboda

In the East, they stopped feeding it, and in the West, no one gave anything.

It became known that a historical minimum of employed in the economy was recorded in Belarus. People find it increasingly difficult to find work, and it is increasingly difficult for employers to find workers. The Charter97.org website spoke with the ex-Minister of Labor of Belarus Aliaksandr Sasnou about the situation of Belarusian workers.

- You were the Minister of Labor in the early 90s, then difficult times for our economy, how much do that situation and the current one have in common?

- Interesting question. No, perhaps. Then a lot of people were kicked out of enterprises with no prospects. Now many have prepared for such prospects. Except maybe the old people who have remained and are holding on to the old production a little. The young people have made enough progress. Therefore, the difference is quite significant.

- How do you assess the situation on the labor market in Belarus?

- The problem is that the prospects are not visible. The authorities support old enterprises that are not very competitive. There is little demand for products. Sooner or later, this will lead to the fact that people will be thrown out of enterprises. On the other hand, there are many such people at these enterprises, so the authorities are trying to support them at any cost, although this caused damage to the entire economy as a whole.

- A historical minimum of employed in the economy has been recorded in Belarus. It turns out that there is a labor force, but no proposals, or, better to say, there are proposals, but they do not fit the criteria of a labor force. How does this affect the economy?

- Perhaps the second. The demand for jobs that people would like to have is not being met. There are also certain stratifications here. For example, there are such proposals, especially in the IT-sphere, which few people can undertake.

Among other things, there are such specialties for which there are no offers, but there are some related ones, where one could go and work. There are proposals, but on the whole, they do not satisfy the labor force.

Why has the quantity decreased? Because many left the country and found offers to their forces in a completely different place. There are good working conditions.

- Labor migration continues in Belarus. Why do you think the migration trend continues? What is the threat of such an outflow of personnel?

- I just read today on one site why IT specialists leave for Poland. Many people said that working in Poland is more attractive in the economic sense. You feel completely free there. As one said, there you do not expect that you work, work, but they will come to you and detain you for a day.

In Belarus, conditions for young specialists are not very suitable, which is why people tend to leave and will continue to leave. This threatens that we will stagnate. You see, there is little young influx into the economy, and the old people are gradually leaving. The economy will stagnate further and further in the same spirit as it has been for the past 25 years.

The financial condition of the state has deteriorated markedly. They stopped feeding it from the East, and in the West, of course, no one gave anything. The current government has driven itself into debt bondage. They borrowed so much time that the budget is barely coping. It was the authorities who brought the situation to this state.