O Intermitente<br> (So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

O Intermitente
(So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

quinta-feira, fevereiro 26, 2004

Os Amanhãs Gelados

Um artigo sobre a situação dos urbes criadas na Sibéria, para albergar projectos industriais, chama a atenção para o fracasso do planeamento económico.

[I]t is the biggest mistake the Soviet Union made economically and politically. It is also the hardest part of the Soviet legacy for Russia to change.

Today, in stark contrast with the United States, Russia?s population and industry are scattered across its territory in large cities and towns with few physical connections between them.

Some cities - like Noril'sk, the home of one the world's largest metals companies with a population of almost one quarter of a million people - are so distant that they can only be reached by airplane.

Other towns in Siberia are cut-off from the rest of Russia and the world - apart from flying in by helicopter - for all but a couple of weeks in the year. And Russia has more people in large, cold cities than in any other country in the world.


Costs related to overcoming the disadvantages of distance and the cold have now become a permanent burden on the Russian economy.

These costs are one of the major reasons why Russia has not developed as fast as analysts expected it to after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It also explains why it has not been able to integrate into the global economy - except for oil, gas and other commodity exports.


In Russia, people now find themselves stuck in the cold, remote places Communism put them ? even as unemployment rises and living standards fall for the bulk of the population in Siberia.

Although Russians have moved from remote towns and villages in Siberia into the larger cities over the last decade, as in the United States, they have not been able to move completely out of the region - from the permafrost and the frost belts to Russia's equivalent of the sunbelt.

Numerous factors conspire to prevent people from moving to other, warmer parts of Russia: Residence restrictions in cities like Moscow, lack of savings and other resource constraints, poorly developed job and housing markets - and fears of Chinese immigration or even claims against Russian territory.

posted by Miguel Noronha 2:46 da tarde

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"A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom."

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