Industrial modernisation poses new challenges
Workers at Gomeloboi factory [Gomel Wallpaper factory] have filed a complaint to the regional head and to the Presidential Administration about overloaded warehouses at the enterprise and its negative impact.
Recently, the factory underwent modernisation and purchased two costly production lines for vinyl wallpaper. In 2013 President Lukashenko launched a large-scale modernisation process (which de facto means replacing obsolete equipment with modern equivalents), which has not resulted in any economic improvements. Ahead of the presidential elections in 2015, the Belarusian authorities will increasingly resort to manual steering of the economy, without considering structural economic reforms, and will hold the heads of industrial enterprises responsible for social issues arising from the derailed modernisation in the country.
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.