March 14, 2017
The autocratic president of Belarus, the former Soviet republic nicknamed “Europe’s last dictatorship,” has triggered angry protests by refusing to abolish a controversial tax on the underemployed.
Dubbed “the tax on social parasites,” the scheme fines citizens a fee of 233 euros ($250) if they fail to work for at least 183 days in a year.
Protestors took to the streets of four cities on Sunday, calling for the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko, a despot who has been in power since 1994.
The protests went ahead despite Lukashenko agreeing to a concession last week to suspend implementation of the tax for this year.
Dozens of activists and journalists were detained in the protests, including opposition leader Pavel Severinets in the eastern city of Orsha.
Journalists covering the events were reportedly fined for “taking part” in “unsanctioned” rallies.
This article was posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 7:40 am