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Armenian President Cracks Down On Officials’ Vacations

Armenia is dealing with economic recession and falling currency.
YEREVAN -- Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian has told the country's top government officials not to take long summer vacations, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Sarkisian cited the need for more intensive state efforts to tackle the ongoing recession, which caused Armenia's economy to contract by 9.7 percent in the first four months of this year.

Sarkisian said he is "amazed by the fact that [government officials] are all submitting applications for month-long vacations as if nothing extraordinary has happened” in the country.

Sarkisian also effectively banned officials from spending their holidays abroad, telling his cabinet that "the individuals occupying the most important positions have no right to be absent from Armenia."

Some ministers and other top officials at the meeting told RFE/RL that the measure is justified. Environment Minister Aram Harutiunian said "if we go abroad on vacation, it means we don't trust our infrastructure."

Transport and Communications Minister Gurgen Sargsian said taking vacations abroad is "not right,” and that “we must set an example.”