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How poverty spreads across Belarus
Perhaps one of Lukashenka’s greatest achievements in Belarusian society has been his fight against poverty. In the worst years of the 1990s, half of the population of Belarus was languishing below the poverty line. This figure is now 10...
30 January 2017
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Belarus pursues ‘social parasites’ at home and abroad

Since late 2016, Belarusian tax authorities have started sending out notifications to all unemployed Belarusians forcing them to reimburse the government for 'state expenditures.' In other words, the Belarusian state automatically assumes that all people not reported as working are...

12 August 2016
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Is Belarus Turning away from the Socially-Oriented State Model?

On 5 August 2016, Andrei Labovich, First Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Belarus, said that the new Law on Employment would tackle the problem of the ‘professional’ unemployed. Simultaneously, in August 2016 the National Statistical Committee of...

8 January 2016
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2016 Will Be Tough, Reforms or No Reforms – Digest of Belarusian Economy

After several years of slow growth, 2015 became the first year of true recession. GDP fell by 3.9 per cent in January-November; employment declined over the year. The Belarusian rouble depreciated by almost 60 per cent. Despite significant changes in...

15 September 2015
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Looking Back at Lukashenka’s Fourth Term

On 11 September candidates for Belarusian president officially started their campaigns. From the previous presidential campaign slogan “For independent, strong and prosperous Belarus”, Lukashenka left only “independent”. In order to buy voters in 2010, Lukashenka embarked on excessive wage growth...

30 June 2015
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Collapsing Economy Weighs on the Authorities – Digest of Belarusian Economy

A labour strike at a major state-owned plant in June suggests that the current economic crisis will present serious political challenges to Belarus. Despite it being an election year, wages and pensions are not growing – a rare occurrence. Yet,...

8 April 2015
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Belarus At War With Its “Social Parasites”

On 2 April, Alexander Lukashenka signed a decree against “social parasites”. From now on, individuals who do not pay taxes will lose be forced to submit around $240 annually into the the state’s coffers. This law is designed to help...

24 March 2015
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Belarus Chose Internal Devaluation as New Anti-Crisis Policy – Digest of Belarusian Economy

In an attempt to fixate and extend the effects of currency devaluation, the Belarusian government and the National Bank have chosen internal devaluation as its leading policy. Internal devaluation means lower incomes and a more prudent fiscal and monetary...

30 January 2015
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The Government is Preparing for a Recession – Belarus Economy Digest

For 2015, any positive growth would be considered a great success for the Belarusian authorities. Apart from external shocks, several structural challenges have emerged. A spike in inflation, deeper depreciation of the national currency, the distress of the banking industry,...

29 October 2014
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Belarus May Introduce Forced Labour to Fight Sponging

On 20 October the government announced a plan to introduce punishment for sponging ('tuneyadstvo’). It was practiced in Soviet times and it may return to Belarus again. About 10% of population able to work do not pay taxes although...

31 July 2013
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Why Belarusians Emigrate

On 12 July, Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich proposed the introduction of a tax on non-working Belarusians.Although official statistics show that the unemployment rate stands at 0.5 per cent, the prime minister acknowledged that 445,000 Belarusians do not work - about...