About 30 000 Entrepreneurs on Strike
On 2 October an action of protest took place all over Belarus. It was supported by entrepreneurs of Slutsk, Svetlahorsk, Baranavichy, Rechytsa, Slonim, Pinsk, Babruisk, Vitsebsk, Pruzhany, Uzda and Barysau. The people came to their working places, but did not work. A distinct feature of the action was support from the side of entrepreneurs of large exhibition centers of Minsk.
In Minsk the strike is maintained by Zhdanovichy market (about 70% of entrepreneurs closed their stalls), the building market, the market centers Parking, Atlantic, Europe, Kupalauski and Svelta. The entrepreneurs say that many of them are pressurized by the administration of the markets.
The entrepreneurs protest against presidential decree #760 that since 1 January 2008 prohibits individual entrepreneurs to hire employees except for family members and close relatives. But even then the maximal number of employees is three. ‘The entrepreneurs lost their patience after the summer check-ups of tax organs, groundless fines and goods confiscations. There repressive activities of the authorities and their reluctance to listen to individual entrepreneurs made us to proceed to extreme measures for protection of our rights and interests,’ commented Viktar Harbachou, the chair of the organizing committee of the republican NGO For Free Business Development.
Individual entrepreneurs also want to have a clear law about small and middle business. About one thousand of them signed an appropriate letter that was passed to the regular commission of the Chamber of Representatives on industry, fuel and energy balance complex, transport, communications and business.