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Мichael Delyagin: Big Moscow Will Appear Too Huge - Therefore Principally Uncontrollable

Мichael Delyagin: Big Moscow Will Appear Too Huge - Therefore Principally Uncontrollable
Anna Ivanova 08.12.2010

- If integration of Moscow and Moscow region is real? What foreseen and unforeseen difficulties will arise?

- Integration is unreal. First of all, merge of two subjects of Federation is counter-productive: far Moscow suburbs - usual region of the Central Russia qualitatively different from Moscow.

It is reasonable to combine Moscow only with localities near Moscow which inhabitants every day go to megapolis and back - maximum within the borders of present "concrete road". Other territory of Moscow region can be adjusted to adjoining regions or to leave as independent Moscow Region.

However in this case Big Moscow will appear too huge - and consequently uncontrollable. Its financial streams, its population together with political influence peculiar to the capital will make it almost equivalent to the rest of Russia that is absolutely inadmissible.

Transformation of Big Moscow into special federal district with division into subjects of Federation with population of approximately 3 million people each could become way out - but it's difficult for the decayed system of the government of Russia.

Actually, even integration of Moscow with localities near Moscow puts before state a number of especially administrative, managerial tasks which, from my point of view, repeatedly exceed its administrative possibilities.

Therefore conversations about integration, from my point of view, remain the tool of playing on the nerves of the governor of Moscow region Gromov and, maybe, the way to push him delicately to clear the post in favor of some "effective manager".

Creation of uniform control system over transport complex of Big Moscow forming a single whole for already long time is a real problem - but this problem, as far as it's possible to understand, nobody put even in relation to transport complex of Moscow.

- What's the right way to treat a tendency of integration of subjects in general? With plus or minus?

- Integration of regions occurred - correct business. After disintegration of the Soviet Union a lot of former autonomies got allocated into independent regions though they had for the purpose neither economic, nor demographic bases. I think that all these autonomies should be returned in structure of "their" regions. Exceptions - Ingushetia, Yamal-Nenets and Khanty-Mansyisk Autonomous District.

The process of making other, historically developed regions of Russia larger, from my point of view, should be treated with exclusive care, taking into account all consequences. The unique subject which, as I think, is possible to "close" without special doubts - Jewish Autonomous District. Project Israel-on-Amur hasn't succeed, it is time to end up with it. But even before doing such thing it's necessary to analyze carefully consequences of integrations of regions which already took place, to reveal committed errors and to draw lessons.

Making regions larger - is today far not a priority of the Russian statehood which our people should create anew in many aspects.

- What other plans of similar integration the power broods?

- These questions are not to me. I think that, being already in an election campaign condition, it "broods" absolutely other plans. In particular, it is possible to assume with high degree of probability rise in price for elite habitation in the most luxurious areas of Western Europe.

- Whether appointment of Sobyanin is connected, in particular, with realization of the plan of integration of Moscow and Moscow Region?

- No, it is possible to answer this question absolutely unequivocally. There's no connection here, Luzhkov's dismissal was for the federal authority sudden and in certain degree even catastrophic. Having started the conflict as he, possibly, thought with Medvedev and in practice with both heads of the country, Luzhkov literally compelled them to dismiss himself, having cut off all possibilities to a variant of the postponed resignation wished by the federal center, allowing to shift all difficulties of winter on him and to win time for scale replacement of the Moscow staff. 

-  What integration of Moscow and region, if it occurs, will give to authorities and what - to us, simple citizens?

- I tell you once again: I do not trust in such integration by the same reasons by which I do not trust in possibility of construction of atomic power station in Burma: it's too difficult for existing control system.

If to dream up - authorities will receive integration of financial (and corruption as well) streams, possibility to get superincomes from participation in property repartition, to hide old affairs behind side scenes of administrative shake-ups, on the other hand - headache because of growth of political influence of capital region.

At rational integration population can get softening of transport and power problems, general increase of culture of power (at least, in localities near to Moscow), increase of level of social protection in Moscow region. Though to achieve these results the state should get healthy and realize itself as the tool of achievement of public blessing - it's not possible before crisis I am afraid.

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