March 3, 2011 They Couldn’t Do It Legal Even When They Tried

Posted in Rodger's Russia Book | Posted by rodger |


Yesterday, Medvedev announced that he planned to end the annual technical inspections for automobiles. You may remember that I talked about those before. Each time we purchased a car, we had to go through something like a super smog test where they examined and tested the car. The first time, we had to wait in line most of the day and then had to come back a second day after we had our illegally dark windshield replaced. The second time was faster. We were in line for less than four hours and then waited about an hour while the office staff decided that the time had come to open the window to accept completed paper work. They only opened that window sporadically, so people could wait for a few hours after their test was done to hand in the papers and get their tags.

Putin had announced plans earlier to close the state run inspection stations and replace them with a network of private stations on a model like California smog checks. Now he and Medvedev just want to do away with them.

The problem – they can’t do ‘em legal.

Several weeks ago, the Moscow police cracked down on illegal “inspections”. Most people, it turns out, never did get an inspection. They just paid the bribe and got the certificate. A few firings and arrests later, everyone had to really do it legal.

The lines at Moscow inspection stations are now four days long. At least 75% of the inspections were never done before the crackdown – and there have never been enough inspectors or stations to do them.

So, yesterday Medvedev said publicly that new cards didn’t need the inspections and old cars weren’t being inspected anyway, so he introduced a law to do away with them all.

How many countries have to cancel a process because they have done it corrupt so long that they can’t do it legal anymore?

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