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A Just Russia Introduces Bill to Nationalize Mismanaged Sites

While the government is heralding the scale of its privatization, Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov is suggesting that property be confiscated from ineffective owners, beginning with the sites of accidents and terrorist acts: the Raspadskaya mine and Domodedovo Airport.

Mironov and a fellow member of the Just Russia party, Alexander Burkov, introduced a bill into the State Duma on the confiscation with compensation (nationalization) of the property of socially ineffective owners.

Under the proposed law, nationalization "is carried out in exceptional circumstances," such as when there is a risk of massive layoffs in a factory town, delays in wage payments, ungrounded wage cuts of more than 10 percent, safety or environmental violations or bankruptcy.

Legislators at the federal, regional or local level can initiate confiscation, as can labor unions, with the government making the final decision. The owner of the property in question has the right to present a plan to remedy the situation he is in, in which case confiscation can be delayed or abandoned.

If an owner cannot guarantee passenger safety or if people die in a mine or workers go unpaid for months, the government should have a whip, Mironov said recently in Surgut.

Political scientist Mikhail Vinogradov suggested that nationalization will not "become a trend," but it is effective with voters.

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