By Fuad Aslanov
A one-day anti-corruption conference on Armenia’s implementation of the latest recommendations by the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), which is the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption monitoring body, is held in Yerevan today.
The conference considers the anti-corruption policy of the Armenian authorities, protection of human rights in the country, areas that have more corruption risks, priority tasks and proposals in the fight against corruption.
Last month, the Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan held a working meeting, which discussed the issues of international cooperation in the fight against corruption and implementation of Armenia-undertaken commitments.
Thus, Europe is vigilantly monitoring the situation in Armenia and demands from the Armenian authorities to deploy uncompromising struggle against corruption in the country. Armenian experts note that this is right, because this scourge has deep roots in the country, and there is still no tangible progress in the anti-corruption fight in Armenia.
The eradication of corruption in this poor South Caucasus country still seems impossible primarily because its leadership is itself mired in this criminal activity. This is largely the reason for monopolies existing in many spheres of the Armenian economy. They, in turn, lead to the lack of competitiveness and to consequent rise in prices.
Thus, the Armenian authorities together with businessmen close to the government literally rob the country’s population, in the meantime pretending to carry out an anti-corruption fight. Therefore, the Armenians are still skeptical about the authorities that for many years throw dust in the people’s eyes. No one believes that the fight against the problem will yield any results.
The fact of destructive corruption in Armenia was repeatedly pointed out by foreign representatives in the country. Some months ago, the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills noted that if Armenia does not manage to solve the problem, it will affect the relations between the two countries in some areas.
However, corruption is still deeply rooted in the Armenian state structures and it would be foolish to assume that the problem can be addressed unless a new, respectable team comes to power in the country.
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