As the polling data shows, people actively use the services of individual entrepreneurs in their everyday life. In particular, as it goes from Table 1, 57.3% of respondents use their services daily or several days a week (some 6% don’t use their service). Hence, the citizens are well aware of the problems the authorities create to the traders. By the way, the latter are very keen of this! One day they increase rent rates, then introduce additional taxes, make traders get new licenses and certificates or decide to re-register everyone. Numerous official duties are a necessary part during such procedures. Apparently, these “lousy lice” – as A. Lukashenko called them the other day – don’t deserve better attitude.

Table 1. Distribution of answers to the question “How often do you use the services of private entrepreneurs (buy foodstuffs and consumables at the market and in stalls, use domestic services, etc.)?”

Variant of answer


Almost daily


Several times a week


Several times a month


Several times a year


Almost never


Such attitude not always brings benefit to the authorities, though. Quite recently, the traders were once again driven to madness with a new VAT payment procedure. Their resentment ended up in a national strike that was barely pleasant for the authorities. Usual coercive methods didn’t help. The authorities decided to behead the entrepreneur movement by putting its leaders behind the bars. That didn’t help either. They had to go back and have a talk with the people. However, the situation got so hot that the people simply disregarded the figures like Deputy Minister of Economics and even vice-premier. A. Lukashenko had to go and see the businessmen in person. Although the official authorities presented the event as benefaction of the authorities and invited the most tolerant traders to the meeting, the real subject of the talks couldn’t be concealed.

There’s the only conclusion following the event: whatever the authorities do to exhaust traders and make them dance to their piping, political and economic interests still prevail. If it were not for traders, how would declining “giants of national industry” survive? If it were not for traders, who would provide workplaces and pay wages to hundreds of thousands of unemployed? If it were not for traders, who would supply people with foodstuffs and consumables? On the other hand, traders have turned a real force that is to be taken into account. According to the polling data, overwhelming majority of voters (87.2%) know about recent entrepreneur strikes (See Table 2) and 50.4% of voters agree with their demands (See Table 3).

Table 2. Distribution of answers to the question “Have you heard about recent entrepreneur strikes, in which entrepreneurs protested against the new VAT payment procedure?”

Variant of answer






Table 3. Distribution of answers to the question “What is your attitude to such strikes?”

Variant of answer


I support them in their demands


I don’t support them in their demands


This is exactly what pushed the authorities to meet the traders. Sensitive to the opinion prevailing in the society, this time A. Lukashenko decided to solve personally such a painful problem. The future will show how successful he was.