Authorities send signal to Belarusian society that repressive policies remain unchanged
Professor Ostrovsky, the only professor teaching in Belarusian, a well-known intellectual and critic of the current state policy, has been sacked from Grodno Medical University.
Regardless of political prisoner Bialiatski’s release as a gesture within the defrosting process of Belarus-EU relations, the Belarusian authorities do not appear eager to relax the domestic political climate. Quite the opposite, they are sending a signal to Belarusian society that the level of repressions against opposition activists will persist. This case is not unique – during the past six month, there were a few other cases of persecution for political reasons, a trend that is traditionally linked to political campaigns. Regardless of how Belarus-EU relations develop, including the release of other political prisoners, pressure on opposition activists during the presidential campaign will increase.
The Labour and the Tax Ministries are considering the possibility to include persons engaged in some economic activity without forming a legal entity in the social security system. When the decree No 337 comes into effect, the number of private entrepreneurs is likely to reduce due to the possibility of reducing the tax burden when switching to a tax payment as an individual. 95% of self-employed, including PE, pay insurance premiums on the basis of the minimum wage. The number of self-employed citizens is expected to increase, the number of insurance contributions to the pension system from PE will decrease, the number of citizens who will pay a fee to finance government spending will decrease by several tens. Self-employed citizens have the alternative not to pay social security fees and save resources for future pensions, which, given the gradual restriction by the state of pension requirements could be a more long-sighted option.