More Than 50% of Individual Entrepreneurs Have Taken Part in 2-week Strike
‘About 50-60% of Belarusian entrepreneurs supported the strike. In Minsk only about 40% worked,’ said the leader of the campaign For Free Development of Business Viktar Harbachou.
Bear in mind that on 1 January small entrepreneurs declared a two-week strike against paragraph 1.1 of presidential decree #760 of 29 December 2006, which came into force on 1 January. According to this paragraph, small businessmen are prohibited to hire workers except for close relatives. Even then, the maximal number of employees is three. According to Harbachou, the strike took place in the form of ‘forced vacation with non-payment of taxes’.
‘It is quite hard to say what percent of entrepreneurs will come to work tomorrow’, pointed Harbachou. ‘Some of them are not going to work till February, others decided to re-register as private Unitarian enterprises or are busy with employing their relatives.’
On 10 January in Minsk an action of protest of entrepreneurs took place in Minsk. More than 3 000 persons took part in it. 27 of them were detained. 23 of the detainees were sentenced to 15 days of jail, 1 – student of Belarusian State University Tatsiana Tsishkevich – to 20 days.
‘Entrepreneurs are shocked by what is going on, all these arrests and trials. People are dissatisfied. It is especially noticeable in the regions,’ commented Harbachou.
He also emphasized that no negotiations with the authorities can take place till the release of the imprisoned protesters.