Loss-making private breweries threatened with nationalisation
On April 10th, at a meeting dedicated to the brewing industry development, President Lukashenko threatened to nationalise one of the Heineken plants. Following the threat to the brewery in Bobruisk, which is among the largest taxpayers in the Mogilev region, Belarus should anticipate further reduction in investment into Belarusian enterprises by foreign companies, increased pressure on private business, and more direct and indirect payments to the budget to be squeezed from various profitable enterprises. Meanwhile, revising the excise policy, which is the main reason why the situation in the brewery industry has deteriorated, (the excise tax on beer rose tenfold in the past 2.5 years) is not envisaged.
During searches of social and "green" activists and anarchists, law enforcement has seized computers, mobile phones and publications. The authorities have also exerted additional pressure on supporters of unauthorized street protests and independent lawyers, who represented defendants in the White Legion case. The security services have stepped up the persecution of opponents before the street protests announced by the opposition. Apparently, the Belarusian authorities aspire that participants in street protests would reduce in number and that the low interest of the population to socio-political agenda before the local election campaign would retain.