Amid Ukrainian crisis, Belarusians become less demanding vis-a-vis authorities
Despite the fact that the average level of wages has fallen in the country, Belarusians feel more satisfied with their living standards and have increased their support of Lukashenko, says a September poll carried out by IISEPS. The Belarusian socio-economic model is stagnating, however, and the Ukrainian factor has a decisive influence on Belarusians’ preferences. They support having a strong leader and a strong state and believe Belarus should have a special development path, one that is not associated with integration with the EU or Russia. The number of those ready to defend their country with arms in the event of military aggression from Russia has increased dramatically - from 14.2% in June to 25.9% in September. 26% of Belarusians are ready to stand armed against aggression from the NATO. Amid the conflict in Ukraine, in the short-term, lower living standards would not influence the government’s approval ratings and President Lukashenko will be portrayed as the sole guarantor of political stability in the country.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.