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Michael Fradkov Reports on Regulation of Immigrant Workers

Prime Minister Michael Fradkov has given a report to Vladimir Putin about the results of the regulation of immigrant workers in Russia, according to Channel One. Fradkov said that requirements will be increased with regard to employers as well as to citizens and persons without citizenship who are given employment.

The Minister of Health and Social Development, Michael Zurabov, announced that from January 1st of next year immigrants in Russia cannot trade alcoholic, spirit-based products or medicines. According to the Minister, in the first quarter of next year foreign workers may only make up 40% of the number trading in the markets and working in street kiosks. Subsequently this percentage will be reduced to zero. Zurabov also said that the government has established quotas for attracting foreign workers from the countries with which Russia has visa relations. The next year this quota will be 308 thousand people. Thus in total next year 6 million citizens of CIS countries will work in Russia.

Our Commentary

The older generation can remember that in the USSR there was almost no retail trade whatsoever. Now in all Russian cities, large and small, there is a wide variety of shops and markets places. And thanks to them, Russian citizens may shop at their own convenience and without queuing.

The successful growth of markets and small shops was not down to Yeltsins government. In fact, the development of such a market economy was advantageous for petty officials. The profession of a trader was not at all prestigious at that time and so it was only immigrants that undertook this work. Armenians, Azerbaijani and Georgians possessed not only the trading skills but also the understanding of how to stop officials bothering them by offering a well timed bribe. For petty officials the talents of these newly arrived businessmen were extremely welcome and citizens were content.

Now times have changed. Citizens still prefer going to the markets rather than large shopping complexes, but at the same time they dream that the blacks would be expelled from these markets. They themselves would however under no circumstances work on a market. Our citizens would like to work in the civil service, banks or business, or if they are very unlucky, for a security company. Restrictions on foreigners working in the retail trade (this of course does not apply to Americans or Japanese) mean that soon not only in the center of Moscow, but also in other areas and cities it will no longer be possible to buy cheap products. We can experience the retail trade at Moscows Sheremetyevo airport where a cup of coffee in plastic up costs twice the price of a cup of coffee at an exclusive restaurant in the center of Strasbourg. Now there is something to be proud of.

Source: I REGNUM

1993-2003
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