New Year 2012 has finally come into force, and on January 1st a number of new rules and regulations became effective. Many things will seem to be disappearing forever from the life of the Russians, for example, militia. At the same time, the media tried to figure out which items will be more expensive this year. For example, prices for gasoline and train tickets will rise. Some food items will be available at lower prices, NTV reports.
Back in December various blogs posted lists of items that would disappear after December 31 compiled by Forbes magazine. However, journalists found out that not all of them were true.
For example, there were talks that in 2012 no one in Russia will be able to fly by aircraft "AN", "Tu" and "Yak." Flights of these types of planes not equipped with approach warning system were meant to be banned. But in the allotted time the equipment was not installed even on the tenth part of these aircraft, and they were allowed to fly for at least another six months, "Moskovsky Komsomolets" reports.
There were also rumors that starting January 1st Russians will not be able to buy fishing nets. The law "On the recreational fisheries" was designed to allow purchasing of "netting gear" only by individuals and legal persons who obtained a permit. Yet at the time the bill on recreational fishing has not even reached the State Duma.
Seven-digit phone numbers for residents of Moscow, as promised, will be gone - but not on January 1st. Up to this point, the owners of numbers starting with area code 495 were able to call each other without dialing the area code. Now everyone will have to dial area code 495, 498 or 499. Most likely, this change will only happen by July 1st.
Another item on the list: starting 2012 one cannot call police "militia." Indeed, since 2012, according to the law "On Police", the Russian militia would cease to exist altogether. That word will disappear from the labels of service vehicles, signs on the police department and official documents. Moreover, police officers will don blue uniforms.
Law enforcement officers are ready to be called the police, but the citizens have not yet become accustomed to the new term. According to the results of polls, most Russians are planning to address police officers by rank, for instant "Major." In the second place are those citizens who choose to describe them with pronouns, interjections and gestures. They are followed by those who will attach Soviet "comrade" to word "policeman," and some plan to persevere and still use the word "militia man".
Motorists will be dealt particularly many innovations in 2012. For example, the lives of private cab drivers will become more complicated. In the New Year the "Law on taxi" came into force whereby after each ride the driver is obliged to issue a passenger a cashier's check or form of strict accountability. Otherwise, a cab driver can be fined for 1,000 rubles ($30) if the cabbie is a private individual, or 10 thousand ($300), if they are entrepreneurs.
Fees for certain services have grown in Russia starting January 1, 2012. In particular, excise taxes on alcohol, tobacco and gasoline have been increased. Utility fees remained unchanged and will grow in six months. For the first time in a long time in January prices for Moscow's public transit came into force have not gone up.
One of the most noticeable changes was the increase in excise rates on gasoline and diesel fuel at 29-32.6%. However, the Energy Ministry earlier assured that the increase in excise taxes on petroleum products will not cause an instantaneous increase in gasoline prices at gas stations as fuel supplies at petrol stations and refineries are sufficient.
There will be an inevitable rise in the price of tobacco and alcohol products. Starting January 1st the tax rate on cigarettes will be 360 rubles ($12). From July 1st it will rise to 390 rubles ($13). Excise duty on alcohol of stronger than 9% has increased from 231 ($7.8) to 254 rubles ($8.5) per liter of alcohol on January 1st. By July 1 it will reach 300 rubles ($10). The excise tax on beer with alcohol content from 0.5 to 8.6% in the coming year will be 12 rubles ($.35) per liter.
In addition, from January 1st tickets for long distance trains will raise in price. Rates for second-class seats will rise by 10%, coupe and "suite" - by 5%. There will be 10% rise in tariffs for the transportation of luggage.
On July 1st electricity prices will rise by 3%, gas - 15%, heat - by 6%. The growth rate in 2012 will be limited to inflation, the government pledged earlier. Experts believe that the government postponed the tariff increase for the upcoming presidential election.
It is difficult to predict whether anything will be cheaper. But there is still hope. Since January 1st, a single economic space of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan became effective. It is assumed that because of this some products will become cheaper: in particular, it will be easier for Belarus to export dairy and agricultural products to Russia.
Changes took place not only in Russia but also in many other countries, according to the list of "25 things that will be banned from 1 January 2012" prepared by Forbes journalists.
Now foreign lovers of marijuana will not be able to visit coffee shops in the south of Holland. In 2012, they will not be able to use marijuana in the three most popular among tourists provinces - Limburg, North Brabant and Zeeland. Starting January 1st, 2013 visits to coffee shops will be forbidden to tourists throughout the country. Then all the coffee shops will become exclusive clubs open to members only.
Disappointment awaits tourists traveling to Catalonia to see a bullfight. Catalonia was the first region of Spain where bullfighting was officially prohibited. In Barcelona on September 25 the last bullfight was held where six animals were killed. Other provinces are likely to follow the example of Catalonia.
Finally, in January 2012 you will not be able to buy 75-watt incandescent light bulbs in Mexico, ride a motorcycle with a two-stroke engine in Bogota, ask for a plastic bag in a store in San Jose or offer a draw until the 40th move in a chess tournament held according to the rules of the European Chess Union.
The simultaneous destruction of three gas pipeline strings in the Baltic Sea is unprecedented, operator Nord Stream AG announced