Belarus’ authorities prompted to reduce social support

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April 22, 2016 18:59

Housing and Utilities Minister Shorets announced the start of serious reforms in the housing sector.

This attempt is not the first one for the Belarusian authorities in reforming housing and utilities services – however,previous reforms were unsuccessful. Interestingly, the government has announced reforms in the housing and utilities sector simultaneously with the IMF negotiations over a new loan for the structural reforms in the Belarusian economy. Eventually, the Belarusian authorities will be prompted to change their housing and utility policy due to budgetary cuts on social policy and plans to stop subsidising the population in paying the utility bills. 

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Image: "Новы Час"

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.