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Kazakh president nags officials for buying foreign cars

05 july 2012, 15:12
Nursultan Nazarbayev. Photo courtesy of Tengrinews.kz©
Nursultan Nazarbayev. Photo courtesy of Tengrinews.kz©
Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev bashed government officials for defying his orders and continuing to purchase fancy foreign-made cars at the budget's expense, AFP reports.

"We make our own cars, but they want Mercedes! Let them do it out of their own pocket! Ban this immediately," Nazarbayev seethed during a televised call-in he held with regional officials.

Contrasting them with western government workers, who buy modest and efficient vehicles, he called Kazakhstan's officials and state company heads "shameless former paupers" who feel that it's prestigious to buy "tanks".

"Total lack of culture and education!" said Nazarbayev. "When will this outrage end... How long do I need to talk about it?"

Nazarbayev regularly advises state officials to buy cars made in Kazakhstan, although he continues to ride in an imported car himself, as do his cabinet members, who favor Japan and Germany-made vehicles.

Kazakhstan, however, does not have its own car brand, and the cars the strongman leader was referring to must be the automobiles assembled from parts imported from South Korea, Russia, and the Czech republic.

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