Svetlana Aleksievich to use her symbolic capital to transform Belarusian society?
Belarusian writer and Nobel Literature Prize winner Svetlana Aleksievich has agreed to become the honorary chairman of the ‘Chernobyl Path’ organizing committee. Aleksievich, as a writer, has been recognized at the international level and awarded the Nobel Prize, which strengthened her position and moral authority in the Belarusian society, especially among supporters of democratic changes. Many public and political leaders, representatives of the independent media have identified Svetlana Aleksievich as a Belarusian of the year. Unlike civil society, the state media has ignored the first Belarusian Nobel laureate, but the authorities have allowed Radio Svoboda to hold the presentation of her book at the Palace of the Republic Hall (often used for official events). Yet it would be premature to talk about Aleksievich’s possible influence on uniting the political opposition, mobilizing civil society and initiating a dialogue with the authorities.
The Labour and the Tax Ministries are considering the possibility to include persons engaged in some economic activity without forming a legal entity in the social security system. When the decree No 337 comes into effect, the number of private entrepreneurs is likely to reduce due to the possibility of reducing the tax burden when switching to a tax payment as an individual. 95% of self-employed, including PE, pay insurance premiums on the basis of the minimum wage. The number of self-employed citizens is expected to increase, the number of insurance contributions to the pension system from PE will decrease, the number of citizens who will pay a fee to finance government spending will decrease by several tens. Self-employed citizens have the alternative not to pay social security fees and save resources for future pensions, which, given the gradual restriction by the state of pension requirements could be a more long-sighted option.