Belarus makes unemployment illegal

Belarus makes unemployment illegal
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has pondered how to get rid of the last remains of unemployment in a country where the official unemployment rate is less than one percent. And now he has the answer: unemployment should in the future be illegal.

"We must introduce the concept of social parasites." It is easier for people to understand. We need to force people to work using all methods we know of," the president said at a meeting with the government, according to Interfax news agency.

According to the Moscow Times, the president's intention is to sentence people forced labor. By January 1, 2015 Belarus will introduce methods to handle 'social parasites' - a notion from the Soviet era, where all employable people had to work to fulfill the dream of the utopian communist society. For instance, the poet Joseph Brodsky was sentenced to forced labor in 1964, despite his arguments that his writing was his work. He later received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1987.

According to Belarus statistics the unemployment rate is less than one percent, but actually it is, according to outsiders, about 10 percent. In 2012, the parliament introduced a legislation to deny staff in forestry the opportunity to resign without their employer's approval.

In May, President Lukashenko, according to Moscow Times, called to reintroduce serfdom with a similar law for the agricultural sector.

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