(CNN) — Vladimir Putin delivered a lump of coal in the Kremlin’s stocking this year when he announced Thursday that he has canceled holiday vacations for members of the government.
Russia’s President delivered the bad news at a December 25 meeting he convened of his government, but for those thinking that his timing was merely the diabolical twist of a maniacal scrooge, Christmas is celebrated in Russia on January 7, the traditional date in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
“The Government and its various structures cannot afford such extensive holidays, at least not this year,” Putin told government ministers in a speech broadcast on state television. “You know what I am talking about.”Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual press conference in Moscow on December 18, 2014.
He was talking about Russia’s battered economy.
“We have been making efforts to change the structure of our economy, to refine it and make it more innovative … quite a lot has been done in this direction,” he said. “However, recent events show that this is not enough.”