Sobyanin says Moscow "most corrupt city in Russia"
Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, in an interview with the magazine "Afisha," acknowledged that Moscow has the highest corruption levels in all of Russia.
"The only way to deal with the problem is through law enforcement: open cases, and close them. Although, according to the businesses, some pressure on business is decreasing. But, of course, it is still well beyond limits," Itar-Tass quotes Sobyanin from the interview.
Sobyanin also said that moving around officials may help in the eradication of corruption.
"Today we decided that district heads should not hold the same position for more than 7 years. They should be rotated, no one should stay in one place all the time. And the prefects are changing, slowly, but changing," said the mayor.
According to him, other than the rotations, "we need to change business conditions."
"We're trying to remove parts of the required procedures ... Take for example open-air cafes. Every year, They needed to re-request permission to open their cafes and go through several circles of hell. We have made it so that if they get permission once, they can reuse it and not run around every year, " the mayor said.
"I agree that you need to create a comfortable working environment, and make empty promises and give out too few handouts. Just by evening the playing field, it will make a big difference," Sobyanin said.
He added that the Moscow authorities are trying to clean up the small business sphere.
"It used to be that entire mafia like structures were setup in order to practice retail trade, and as a result we neither big selection, high quality nor good locations. [These structures] built wherever they wanted and sold what they wanted. I can't say that the situation has changed completely, but at least we have identified where things can be sold, and what, " the mayor said.
When asked about the fact that renting space for small business is impractical, Sobyanin said that "there have been attempts to make it otherwise, like renting at a reduced price for small businesses. And did small businesses use this opportunity? No, of course not, middlemen rented everything and then jacked up the price five times and made a profit. The city didn't make any money and neither did small businesses."
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25.10.12 13:41 By Gazeta.ru editorial
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