By Rashid Shirinov
Life of Armenians in their country is complicated by a bunch of problems – poverty, corruption, shadow economy, deteriorating economic indicators, inflation and many more. However, the main trouble a person is primarily worried about is being unemployed.
Thus, another protest action was held in Armenia’s capital Yerevan right on the Labour Day – May 1. Those who failed to find any job to earn for life formed a significant part of the demonstrators.
“If hungry – eat the rich,” “Debt – to you, life – to us,” “No capital, no violence, no owners,” “I won’t work for free,” “No state, no borders, no patriarchy, no owners” and other slogans were chanted during the protest.
Representatives of several trade unions also participated in the protest trying to remind the authorities that the state is not a business and it must do everything for the benefit of Armenian citizens.
The unemployment rate in Armenia is the highest among the CIS countries, making up 18 percent, and new vacancies do not seem to come up in the near future due to the wrong structure of the national economy.
In addition to terrible unemployment, the wages in the country keep falling down. Significant decrease in salaries is being observed throughout Armenia. Salaries are declining in both public and private sectors.
Moreover, Armenian employees are suffering from delay in salaries, non-payment of salaries for the holiday period and unlawful dismissal.
A clear example of the employment problems in Armenia is the life of residents of the country’s Lori province.
Most of its men have to leave abroad for seasonal work; their families live in debt, waiting for the next batch of money from their husbands or sons.
Many families in Lori have already refused to use gas because they do not have enough money to pay the bills. Therefore, in cold days people have to warm their homes by firewood.
“When the price for gas went up, we did not have enough family budget to pay for it. If I had money, I’d love to use gas,” says the resident of the Gugark village Gagik Arakelyan. He has higher education, but he is forced to keep livestock as he couldn’t find another job.
Manush Chatinyan, resident of the Margahovit village, complains: her son left Armenia for Russia six years ago and now he doesn’t want to come back as he cannot find a job in homeland.
“All the doors are locked, people are leaving. What can they do here? There is no work. I don’t love Russia but we have to leave," Chatinyan says.
Thus, life in Armenia is hard indeed and people have no choice but to leave the country forever, to move to the places where the government really cares about its citizens.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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