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21 May, 2009 04:47

Moscow City Hall toughens up on economic downturn

Moscow Deputy Mayor says the city's got rid of half a million migrant workers since the crisis began. Around 500 thousand remain, but Yury Roslyak says that's still too much.

In an interview with RT, City Hall's number 2 began by claiming it's winning the fight against corruption. According to some estimates, last year, bribes paid by Russian companies to government officials came to more than double the national state budget.

YR: “We've taken unprecedented steps to reduce contact between firms and bureaucrats. Payments for many state services have been scrapped, as well as the number of permits needed to do business.”

RT: How is the crisis affecting Moscow city spending?

YR: “We plan to cut our spending this year, but will meet all our social commitments. In fact, an anti-crisis task force headed by the Mayor is ready to bankroll projects with cashflow problems.”

RT: What progress have you made on your plan to remove migrant workers from the capital?

YR: “We've halved the number of migrant workers in Moscow, but there should be even less. About 250,000 jobs are on offer in the capital today, and these must be given to Russians. Our goal is to return to the pre-crisis jobless rate of 0.3%."