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Belarusian Market Vendors Strike Against New Regulations

MINSK -- Tens of thousands of Belarus's market vendors staged a one-day strike around the country to protest the government's policy toward small-business owners.

Beginning on January 1, market vendors will no longer be allowed to pay a fixed value-added tax on imports from Russia and will be required to show documents proving the origin of the goods.

Small entrepreneurs are concerned that such measures could force them out of business.

The striking business owners told RFE/RL's Belarus Service that they will stage a demonstration in the capital on December 15 if a compromise with officials cannot be reached.

An estimated 40 percent of the country's 200,000 market vendors took part in the strike.