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"No Excuses Accepted!"

The patience of Alexander Kuzmin, mayor of Megion in western Russia, has worn thin. In September 2007, Kuzmin published a list of 27 excuses he will no longer tolerate. Civil servants who use such excuses as "I don't know," "It's lunchtime," or "I was on sick leave at the time," will lose their jobs. Other banned excuses include "I can't," "It's impossible," or "It's not my job."

The reason for Kuzmin's decision is simple. City officials, the mayor says, should solve problems, not make excuses.

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