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Sunday, August 07, 2011

Putin: Stop groping female tourists!


Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin is not known for his gentle side -- he takes judo classes and arm wrestles, after all.
But Putin did come to the defense of female tourists this week, telling a group of North Caucasus youth that it's not OK for locals to grope or pinch female visitors.
The discussion was taped and posted on the website of the state-owned media agency RIA Novosti. In the video, a young man tells Putin that he is concerned about the growth of the region's tourism industry.
"You can get the sense that Russia has ambitious plans for the tourist industry in the North Caucasus," he said, in the English translation provided by RIA Novosti. "I think there are a number of complex problems related to that, which would take time. Worst of all, mountain people are proud people and always ready to fight, but not wait on tourists."
Putin responded: "Mountain people are proud people and all that, but they're not born to fight. I think you have the wrong idea about waiting on tourists. Tourism is a very important industry for many countries. The incomes of many local people depend on it. Understand that and you will stop treating it as a menial service and instead see it as real work. If tourists come here and locals grope or pinch the women, perhaps some might like it, but many won't. And the number of people interested in coming here will fall."
Putin did not elaborate on which female tourists enjoy being pinched or groped by strangers.

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