"Europe's last dictator" finally finds the limits to power: taxing the unemployed during a recession

Belurusian leader Alexander Lukashenko calls himself "Europe's last dictator": he's a thug who steals elections and sends opposition politicians to forced labor camps, the kind of guy who can get away with arresting a one-armed man for clapping — but when he imposed a "social parasite tax" on unemployed people in the recession-devastated country, it proved too much.

The mass-marches in the capital of Minsk have now spread to Gomel, the country's second city, with more demonstrations nationwide. 470,000 people are caught by the tax, but fewer than 10% have paid it.

The new tax, enshrined in a decree on preventing social dependency, widely known as the "Law against social parasites", requires those who declare less than 183 days of work per year to pay $250 in compensation for lost taxes – more than half an average monthly salary.

Oh, PS: despite all of Lukashenko's wicked ways, Hacking Team still sold him cyber-arms to spy on his people.

Belarus tax protests spread beyond capital
[Andrei Makhovsky and Andrey Ostroukh/Reuters]

(Image: Alex Kokcharov)

(via Naked Capitalism)