In the village of Zalesse (Brest region) a row between a foreign investor and local citizens is unfolding. Italian enterprise Bissolo Gabriele Farm is not interested in employing locals because hiring workers from Ukraine, Romania or Ethiopia is much cheaper. Moreover, young professionals placed to the enterprise have to vacate their houses granted by the state…
“You will be left with nothing!”
Not receiving any rational answer from either local authorities or the presidential administration, Maryna Kaliadzich wrote a letter to Belsat TV. She states that local officials take evicting Belarusian entry-level jobbers from their houses for granted at the investor’s request. Unfortunately, Belsat ENG crew failed to meet up with the company’s management team: at that moment all the senior officials were in Italy.
The Kaliadzich family, young professionals, settled into a “presidential” house some years ago. And now, after doing complete repairs, they have to leave for nowhere while the investor is not about to make any compensations. Maryna is expecting a baby; her husband lost his job when the enterprise changed hands. If they are dishoused only relatives might give them a shelter. “The Italian investor put it straight: «You can file complaints or importune but you will be left with nothing!» He is going to spend the right amount of money to withdraw us,” Maryna Kaliadzich said.
The young couple intended to buy the house out but they were rebuffed: the investor is going to settle here far more people than just one family. “15-20 persons are living in each house which earlier belonged to evicted employees. They [imported workers] complete their work and leave. Our people need holidays and social protection; newcomers require nothing, which is for way less money,” the woman explains.
“Not his fault”
Two families have received judicial summonses; but the rest thirty houses are to be vacated for newcomers. Scandalized locals do not know what to be done.
“We appealed to regional officials, they say the investor has a point here. Both Kenda [Kobryn district executive committee head] and Sumar [Brest region executive committee head] are for them! Naturally, our President Aliaksandr Lukashenka knows nothing about it,” Yauheniya Lukashuk, a resident of a neighbouring village, says. According to locals, “the Italians do not defer Belarusians and regard us as people of a lower cast”.