Belarus has become a vivid example of the state resisting the people.
Lukashenka used to repeat that he would not follow the "civilized world" in footsteps, but would build his own "state for the people". And what do we see now? Here is the latest news of the "social state":
"After 2022 the retirement age of women and men may be equated. The state is already considering such a scenario.
That's how the authorities try to plug the leaks in the NSSF (National Social Security Fund) repeatedly pointed at by international experts."
"The Belarusian government discussed the reduction of the paternal leave. "MPs" raised the issue while discussing the deficit in the NSSF."
"The ILO (International Labour Organization) recognizes a forced labour in Belarus. Forced labour for a salary an employee does not accept is coercion. It's a new form of slavery in modern Belarus.
We can recall the tariff rates increase for housing services and utilities, the decree on "parasites", which divides Belarusians into castes, miserable pensions and salaries, and so on.
The leader of European Belarus civil campaign Andrei Sannikov stressed while describing the situation in the country that Belarus moves from feudalism to slave-owning.
Instead of the announced "state for the people", we have received the one against them. Charter97.org asked economist and head of the Strategy analytical centre Leanid Zaika and legal inspector of the REP Trade Union Leanid Sudalenka to comment on the collapse of Lukashenka's model.
"Provincial Gag To Receive"
Leanid Zaika told who had come up with the creation of Lukashenka's model:
- I perfectly remember that time. I used to work as the head of the Department of Economic Theory at BSEU. Professor Mark Samuilovich Kunyavsky was the first to voice the term "socially-focused". He specialized in socialist industrial relations. He offered to name the Lukashenka model "socially-focused".
Although it does not exist. There is a social state; there was a theory of social and legal state. And the Belarusian model is a complete gag, a provincial to some extent.
The economist stresses that Lukashenka has build up his model on cheap energy resources of the eastern neighbor:
- He took the socialist formula with low tariff rates for housing services and utilities, cheap potatoes, bread and so on, and sauced it with Russian money.
Lukashenka knew nothing but it. He graduated from the Mahilyo teachers’ training college. I think it does not go into the social modeling issue.
Legal inspector Leanid Sudalenka believes that it is worth talking about slavery, not socialism in the country.
- Trade Unions keep stressing that the contract system has brought to life slavery. Every unwelcomed employee is immediately fired. The other side of the coin is that a person loses an opportunity to leave on his own accord. It's slavery, isn't it?
The legal inspector believes that these two moments have nothing to do with the "state for the people" Lukashenka tells about:
- It seems as if the "social state" lives one life, and the working class lives another one. The policy Lukashenka declares contradicts the reality.
"Simple issues found no response, now everything has collapsed"
Leanid Zaika believes that the authorities failed with challenges and wasted the potential of the country in early 90s:
- Simple issued required response. They involved the creation of the job market, industrial goods market, food market. It was needed to think over competitiveness, to create a reliable ground for the Belarusian economy.
Lukashenka did not get it and found himself in a theoretic trap. He went through the Soviet grief. His inner circle was not interested in social modeling. Our top kept building socialism with a distorted face. With infernal face.
They followed Marxist-Leninist schemes. After 20 years it's all collapsed.
"It's the End"
Leanid Sudalenka stresses that Lukashenka's policy has spoiled the image of Belarus so much that it is in the list of the Third World countries.
-Our country has been included in the short list of the ILO. We are in the black book of our Western colleagues. We are considered as a country with no respect to Trade Unions.
It's a pity that the authorities have driven the country into such a condition.
The legal inspector states that the country is put on notice by international organizations:
- Obviously, we fall under a close eye of international organizations. It does not contribute to a good image of the country in the international arena. With their own hands the authorities turn Belarus into the third-rate country with no respect to rights of workers and Trade Unions.
Leanid Zaika draws attention to Belarus which has drowned in corruption:
- We can see villas, houses, Mercedeses instead of the economy. And it's not the socialist type at all. When we speak of the nomenclature of the USSR, we mean more or less modest way of life. And Lukashenka's inner circle has become a "villa-forming" one.
They buy Mercedes, and the support of the social infrastructure takes a back seat.
The person with ten apartments and cars is appointed the head of the Hrodna region by Lukashenka. I wonder why such a person is the better candidate.
Economist Leanid Zaika has tried to explain what Lukashenka's reign has resulted in:
-It's resulted either in mixed or funny economy. As you wish.
Ten thousand millionaires have emerged; it has begot an enormous gap between those on the top and those living in cities and villages.
It's a socially divided society. Lukashenka's experiment is of a high price for the society, Leanid Zaika summed up.