Shopping vertical: why the government does not stop the fight with “the squatter”

Scheduled for August 29, the action of the Moscow authorities for the demolition of the second wave of objects constructed in violation of town planning rules is a good occasion for reflection on the nature of gray and shades of the Russian business. Although 50 shades of you can not count business in “gray” zone is needed primarily representatives of the authorities. As a resource to strengthen it and myself in it.

He opened his eyes

Although the Moscow authorities and prefer to talk about built in violation of planning codes objects as a “squatter” in this context we are talking about something else. Most likely the owners intended to demolish the objects have some permits, but their incompleteness or inconsistency of all the rules the authorities from time to time turned a blind eye.

To see a real squatter, a little ride to the metro station “Ulitsa 1905 goda”, the location is designed with the demolition of objects 122-124 (from the list of the Moscow government). It is necessary to visit a favela in Brazil (the officials, which did not allow the Olympics to be a reason to get out of trips abroad), shanty towns in Africa or at least the suburbs of Ulan Bator. Buildings here often do spontaneously erected first, and then possibly legalized. The impossibility of legalization, people and businesses continue to take a “nelegalne” construction (this term is suggested, Hernando de Soto, one of the most famous researchers of this squatter).

It is hard to imagine what is intended to the demolition of the Moscow buildings were built in the same way — under the cover of night, while the bureaucratic guardians of the urban order sleep in their beds. Here is how this process de Soto in his book “a Different path”: “Everything is done at night or early morning. The date is usually chosen under any civic holiday: less chance of quick retaliation by the forces of law and order… Taking the land, the settlers set state flags to show that they are not criminals but patriots who fight for their rights and social justice.”

Probably still erected “Moscow squatter” in the bright light of day and under the watchful glances of numerous supervisors. In order to close at the time, the eyes of the inspector to the possibility of incomplete documentation or a breach of certain provisions of planning legislation most likely had to “negotiate”.

One of the advantages of living in Russia, as we know, is that the severity of Russian laws kompensiruet by not having their performance. Rather, selectivity. Given that is scheduled for demolition objects stood long enough for their owners by hook or by crook managed to be among those lucky ones for whom the execution of the town planning code was optional.

Photo gallery
Night defeat: how to eliminate commercial sites in Moscow



In the night of Tuesday in Moscow began the demolition of the retail pavilions, which in December last year, the city authorities have recognized the squatter. Just blacklist the municipality has got more than 100 objects, 97 of them…

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Convenient format

What has forced officials to open the eyes right now and see if the urban development pattern in its ugliness? Wanted to fell into disgrace again tried their “interest”?

This explanation would be too simple and easily subject to criticism of the “fifth column” (which in the opinion of officials, made up of all those who do not agree with the selectivity of their power). From a more strictly monitor compliance with town planning and other (the rest of the rules of sanitary, fire safety and many others — would require a separate conversation), the officials contribute to the redistribution of the flows on the consumer market in favor of big business, especially online retail.

First was “cleansed” of wholesale and retail markets. Then the kiosks. Now small and medium businesses in permanent buildings, built in violation of town planning rules”. Consumers will have no choice but to go to the supermarket.

Why the officer may be more profitable to deal with the retail network and not with medium or small business? Retail network to better comply with planning regulations? No, not necessarily. The building of the shopping exposed to the same risks that have received the label of “squatter”, and they are often also located in the zones with special conditions of use of territories, areas or rights-of-way engineering services”.

Retail network is a convenient lever of regulation of consumer trade in General and pricing in key consumer products in particular. With the owners of all “illegal constructions”, i.e. small and medium-sized businesses, to agree on price policy, on “politically important” (especially in anticipation of a protracted series of elections) products and services is more difficult than with several major retailers.

Therefore, to protect yourself from selective application of the law retailers do not have to stoop to banal bribes (“the fifth column” is resting). The relationship between retailers and officials above. They can even try to call “public-private partnership”, a term from the translated textbooks on public administration. Officials received assurances of relative calm in the consumer market during the election period and the inability to index the income of one of its major constituents, a pensioner. And the retailer gets a license to inevitable violations of the strict Russian laws. Again, at the time (elections).

The authors ‘ point of view, articles which are published in the section “Opinions” may not coincide with ideas of editorial.