World Economy

Belarusians Protest Against Labor Law

Belarusians Protest Against Labor Law Belarusians Protest Against Labor Law

Local media in Belarus say about 3,000 people have demonstrated across the country against an unpopular new labor law that targets the unemployed, AP reported. The protests Sunday in four regional cities, which included an estimated 1,000-strong rally in the eastern city of Vitebsk, are a rare sign of dissent in the authoritarian former Soviet nation. No arrests were reported, although police in Belarus often crack down on unsanctioned rallies. Many in Belarus are unhappy with a so-called “anti-sponging” law that forces citizens to pay the equivalent of $250 if they work less than half the year and do not register with nation’s labor exchanges. A protest in Minsk on Friday drew about 2,500 in the biggest opposition action since 2011. Most Belarusian protests have traditionally been against the government. However, demonstrations with socioeconomic aims tend to attract more people. The largest protest in the history of independent Belarus occurred in 1991, when more than 100,000 people gathered in Minsk to protest economic and social decline.


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