Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Spectre of devaluation haunts Belarus
7:48, — Economics
Lukashenka's odious decree worsens the unstable economic situation in the country.
Nezavisimaya Gazeta (Russia) discusses the economic situation in Belarus, in particular, the latest scandalous decree on pensions.
To receive minimum pension Belarusians will have to work in the country two times as much – 10 years. The measure will be applied next year. Trade unions are angry: the unpopular decision was taken without public discussions. Experts think it is the first step in the promised campaign against social parasitism.
In accordance with the decree, only citizens who have worked and paid mandatory contributions to the Social Protection Fund for at least 10 people can have age and retirement pensions. The current period is five years.
The decree came as a surprise. It was not discussed with trade unions. People were not warned about it. The authorities leave people no transition periods or an opportunity to change something – the new norm comes into force on January 1, 2014.
The minister of labour and social protection of Belarus, Marianna Shchotkina, thinks it [the discussion] is not needed. “People who receive age pension began to work in the Soviet Union. They in fact had worked the necessary time (even 10 years) before the Union's collapse,” she said about the fate of those going to retire next year. “The decree practically won't affect the interests of those who are going to retire,” she said.
However, meticulous experts turn attention to the word “practically”. They think it means that the issue was not elaborated. Even if not thousands but “only” a hundred of people suffer, it will be a strong blow to their lives and fates. The unpopular measure that appeared in the legislation all of a sudden may mean that it was a tool to fight social parasitism, the plans announced by the Belarusian authorities, rather than a part of pension reforms, experts suppose.
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