Conventional opposition activities remain unattractive for Belarusians
On the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident, the Belarusian opposition held a traditional rally Chernobyl Path. Despite the Anniversary and permission granted by the authorities for the rally, and regardless of the Nobel Literature Prize winner Svetlana Aleksievich among organizers, the event was not crowded. According to various estimates, about 700 – 1000 people participated in the rally this year. The ongoing economic crisis has not helped to boost participation in the conventional opposition activity. If people’s well-being continues to decline, protest activity is likely to gain new forms, beyond the control of the opposition.
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.