Posted on 03 July 2012

Iraq’s government may soon shut down for much of the summer, says an article from Associated Press. A proposed law aims to shorten workdays and help public employees avoid soaring temperatures.

It will also cut work hours during Ramadan, which this year begins on 20th July, but the law would for the first time legalise the slowdown for the country’s government.

“The employees in our ministries are looking for any pretext to run away from their offices,” said Jassim Al Obeidi, an estate agent in Baghdad.

“I think that this measure will add more delay to the work in the government offices, and the only damaged party will be the ordinary people who will have to spend more time and efforts trying to finish their paperwork for the government.”

One MP said the law should not significantly affect the government’s work, but added that it is still not decided how short workdays might be cut, and declined to comment on whether it would apply to security forces, lawmakers or top ministry officials.

Parliament is trying to rush through votes on as many as 50 pieces of legislation that have been stalled for months.

According to The National, lawmakers earn an estimated $22,500 per month in salary and allowances for housing and security, compared to about $600 a month for midlevel government employees.