The Belarusian authorities seem to be looking for the so-called idlers even among mothers of large families.
A few days ago, two teachers of childhood centre Nr 73 visited Homiel resident Yuliya Haniseuskaya at her place and handed her a notice of her being added to the database of the unemployed. At first, the woman did not understand what was going on, because she was sleeping with her youngest daughter, she told belsat.eu.
“Those were the class teacher of my children and her colleague. I was shocked, so were they. They failed to give any explanations, but told me that they had been tasked [to deliver notices] and asked me to sign the ‘parasites’ list. The list was long. Now there is a school break, the teachers still have a lot of work, but the authorities force them to deliver these papers when it is beasty cold,” Ms Haniseuskaya said.
The woman, however, expressed sympathy with the ‘dependent’ teachers.
“My post about teachers caused a wave of criticism, but I have no claims against them. I feel pity for them. I am a sane person, but people are different. Some may attack teachers or do harm. Even a postman has a pepper-ball. Why didn’t a local policeman or official come to me? They [the authorities – Belsat] just found scapegoats,” the woman believes.
For the record, the case of Yuliya Haniseuskaya does not fall within the ‘parasite’ decree. The Homiel resident has four children, and the youngest daughter is under the age of seven.
“As a large family, we have certain benefits when paying some utility bills. I am not going to do anything [to prove her not being an ‘idler’ – Belsat]. The asked me why I had not filed a request with the employment centre. Maybe next time they will ask me why I gave birth to four children? I will be acting in accordance with the presumption of innocence. Let them first prove that I am a social parasite, and then I will show them the evidence.”
When reached by Belsat, school master Dzmitry Vostrykau was tight-lipped. The only thing he has confirmed is that he is aware of the situation. However, he has declined comment on it.
At the same time, Homiel City Executive Committee did not issue any official order on involving teachers in delivering ‘social parasites’ papers.
“It is not our job. Such notices must be sent by mail,” Lyudmila Krylistsenka, Head of the Education Department, told belsat.eu.
Decree Nr 3 signed by Alyaksandr Lukashenka in April, 2015 established the obligation of the citizens of Belarus, foreign citizens permanently residing in Belarus, stateless persons, who did not participate in the financing of public spending or participated in such financing less than 183 days (six months – ed.) in the past year, to pay a fee of 20 basic units (appr. $230).
The notorious decree caused a massive public outcry. In the spring of 2017, it triggered a wave of protests across the country. As a result, the implementation of the infamous ‘parasite’ law was put on the back burner.
In January 2018, Lukashenka signed Decree No. 1, which provides for measures to promote employment of the population. The new decree did not include norms on taxing non-working population. Persons who were previously recognized as payers of this fee were exempted from it.
In April, the government decided on the people subject to Decree No. 1. There is now a list of services to be paid in full by ‘parasites’. As reported earlier, the Labour Ministry was tasked with creating a database of ‘idlers’ by December 1, 2018. It will be updated on a quarterly basis.
In November, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection said that Belarusians who receive education or work abroad will not be included in the list of the so-called social parasites, but only on condition that they can officially confirm that they found a job or study.