How to read a Russian news story

Authorities in Moscow have threatened to finally outlaw the city’s beloved shawarma kebabs, claiming that the stalls that sell them have repeatedly failed to comply with sanitation standards.

“We are ridding the streets of all shawarma. It’s going to disappear completely,” city official Alexey Nemeryuk told Russian radio station Komsomolskaya Pravda.

The head of the Moscow department of trade and services added that kiosk owners had refused “to bear even the slightest costs of maintaining proper sanitation standards”.

Those slightest costs being a few readies as backhanders to the inspectors. That’s just how the place works.

10 thoughts on “How to read a Russian news story”

  1. Is this news story not just a general announcement to prepare to cough up backhanders? Isn’t that how it works?

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    Mr Ecks – “Since it requires I believe, 15 permits to operate a food cart in Dade County –ie Miami, it is how everywhere operates under the evil of statism in general and corporate socialism in particular.”

    Someone reviewed Hernando de Soto’s The Other Path, which is one of the great books of the post-Soviet world, pointed out that running a food cart in London was covered by 2,500 pages of regulations.

  3. “We are ridding the streets of all shawarma. It’s going to disappear completely,”

    I love the crushing finality that’s present in these statements from Russian officials.

  4. My guess is some bigwig has set up, or already operates, some fast-food chain that needs an economic boost, and has decided to get rid of some competition.

  5. When I was Sheffield Council we got the street trading regulations down to 50 pages, half of which is just maps of the licensed street trading areas, and half the remaining is things like addresses and phone numbers of various contact points, blank template of application form, so about 15 pages of actual content, with 1.5″ margins and double-spaced text.

  6. Bloke in Costa Rica

    You were Sheffield Council? I hope you ruled it from a throne of skulls. It’s more than they deserve.

  7. They make a big deal about these people not *complying with standards* as if that’s what is important.

    Standards are there to *protect* people – if people aren’t being injured by these stands then the standards are irrelevant and the operators are *right* to ignore them.

  8. But if we get rid of the standards then someone will be hurt. Namely the people who make more due to the market restrictions.

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