Belarusian authorities use national symbols to reduce tension in relations with opposition
Last week, the ‘Vyshyvanka Day’ celebration was held near the Sports Palace in Minks, aiming to promote traditional national Belarusian symbols and ornamental codes, which was organized by the State Youth Union. It is not the first time the Belarusian authorities ‘seize’ the initiative and ideas from the opposition, which become popular among the population. For instance, since mid 2000s, the Belarusian authorities have completely changed their rhetoric about the value of Belarusian sovereignty and independence. National symbols and ‘vishivanki’ were initially popular only among the politicised youth, now the state has picked up this fashion. Some nationalists in the opposition sympathise the authorities’ efforts to promote traditional national symbols. However, the authorities are unlikely either to enable the formation of a system opposition or empower it to gain influence on the state policy.
Image: Siarhei Hudzilin, NN.BY
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.