Belarus’ entrepreneurs not ready to defend their interests
According to decree No 222, as of July 1stprivate entrepreneurs are prohibited to trade without a certificate and accompanying documents. The introduced certification will hinder the work of individual entrepreneurs and might reformat the SME market, potentially meaning that the majority of entrepreneurs will withdraw. There are several entrepreneurial associations and trade unions in Belarus, but their actions are largely uncoordinated and localised in several large cities. Apart from some protest initiatives – mainly strikes and non-payment of taxes – SMEs will not demonstrate serious resistance to the state restricting their interests. Also, they will avoid politicising their protest activity or coordinating their actions with the opposition.
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.