These authorities' actions are commented on by Gennady Fedynich, the leader of the REP Trade Union.
"From April 2015 to December 2018, the number of "parasites" in the country increased from 470,000 to 500,000. Where do they come from?"
"Is it so few? The authorities should be afraid of this figure: they are current and potential 'guest workers', who leave Belarus in search for jobs, because their homeland fails to provide them with decent wages. Some of them still stay in Belarus and earn their living by temporary or occasional jobs in order to at least survive."
"Any authorities elected by people should take care of them; 500,000 our fellow countrymen got into the trap invented by the president and his entourage. What are you doing, guys? Getting ready for a new election? 500,000 will surely vote against you – is this not clear? Only a small part of the population will follow the authorities and pay the increased utility bills. People don't want to leave their country, but they want to live here with dignity."
"The money they intend to collect from 'parasites' will not even cover the cost of the campaign; so, what is their interest?"
"The goal is clear: people should feel their dependence on the government; for 25 years already, the authorities are forcing people to live on orders, not on their own. This is the problem of any government; and if it continues like this, a catastrophe is inevitable. Whatever they say today about Belarusians ('tolerant', 'long-thinking', etc.), they are 'slow to harness, but quick to ride'."
"Already in February, 'parasites' will get their 'heavy' utility bills. What can you advise them?"
"Last Thursday, at a meeting with human rights organizations, we agreed to draft a memo for people who want to use real advice of our lawyers. Any so-called 'commission on employment parasites' in any district, which cannot offer a person a job with a monthly salary of at least 400 US dollars in equivalent, will be bombarded with letters by potential 'parasites'. Open your eyes, wake up: on what basis have you called 500,000 your fellow citizens not involved in the economy? On the basis of which law are they not called citizens people in their home country? The Constitution is against forced labour. Who gave you this right? People have to go out themselves to defend their interests!"
"A potential threat to 'parasites' is eviction from homes for non-payment of increased utility bills, isn't it?"
"There are no such regulations. But really, not everyone is able to pay 20 roubles extra for the bills. I just don't understand why local authorities are silent (maybe the time hasn't come yet): they should report that this can't be done to people. Don't we know at what price the country receives gas, which is sold to the population four times as that? When receiving 'letters of happiness' from local authorities, do not rush to pay: these demands are illegal! And the authorities themselves know about it."