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Russian Law: Parliament in Action
September 17, 2014 12:10

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1. Safer ride
The Russian Parliament is back from its summer hiatus, with a new menu of exciting bills.
MPs have passed in first reading a series of amendments to the law on taxis put forward by United Russia’s Vyacheslav Lysakov and Evgeny Moskvichev.
If it’s signed into law, gypsy cab drivers would have to cough up 30,000 roubles, or almost $800, for working illegally. Repeat violators would face a fine and a suspended licence for 3-6 months.
The bill is part of the push to put a lid on thousands of illegal taxis cruising Moscow and not paying taxes and ruining the business of official taxi services.
According to a rough estimate, there are about 40,000 registered cabs in the city.
2. Love thy neighbor
An MP from the Liberal Democrats Party wants to revolutionize the rental property industry.
According to his bill, owners of spare apartments would have to seek approval from their neighbors before renting their rooms.
The main threat, argues the author, comes from pet owners whose four-legged friends plague the lives of people living next door.
Currently, if you are a landlord and want to rent out your flat, you don’t need any go-ahead from your neighbors.
3. Clouds over Vedomosti daily
The State Duma may also take a hit at press freedom with a new bill limiting the holding of foreign firms in Russian media.
According to the new draft law, the stake of foreign shareholders could be restricted to just 20 percent and spread to cover periodicals, too. The current cap is 50 percent and it only applies to television and radio stations.

The authors say they never mean to suppress the freedom of press and their main concern is to avoid propaganda by foreign actors. But the most obvious target that comes to mind is the Vedomosti daily, known for its harsh criticism of the Kremlin’s policies, owned by the UK’s Financial Times, the US’s Wall Street Journal and Europe’s Sanoma. 

Author: Mikhail Vesely

Tags: Russian laws Parliament in Action    

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