State to reduce entrepreneurs’ political activity
The single tax rate for entrepreneurs in Minsk will rise by 14-18%, not by 40% as originally planned.
Ahead of the local elections, the authorities have decided to reduce the political activity among individual entrepreneurs. The single tax rate, which is set by Oblast and Minsk City Councils, could have been used by the opposition to enhance the entrepreneurs’ political activity. The local authorities’ decision may significantly affect entrepreneurs’ participation in local elections, but when the election campaign is over, the government might revise the state budget’s funding sources.
The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.
Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.
Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.
In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.