By Rashid Shirinov
This year sees the thirtieth year of the catastrophic earthquake that hit Armenia’s Spitak town. Although so much time has passed from the tragedy, the Armenian authorities could not provide normal housing to its victims and their descendants.
The governor of the poorest region of Armenia – Shirak – has recently upset them even more. He said that there are 2,414 of these families living in temporary housing, and it is unrealistic that all of them will receive normal apartments in 2018. Thus the Armenian government could not overcome the consequences of the disaster even in 30 years.
However, they are not the only victims of such a lamentable situation. The whole Armenia is shrouded in social problems. During the past two years, there was no increase in pensions in the country and the state budget for this year also does not include this. The same can be said about salaries.
Instead, with the advent of the new year, the government decides to increase prices of goods and services in the country.
Armenians were placing high hopes for the prime minister Karen Karapetyan for his loud promises taken when he took office in 2016. He was speaking about the fight against poverty, unemployment, corruption and many other problems of the country. However, none of these promises was fulfilled.
Unemployment is among the most serious problems of today’s Armenia, but the authorities turn a blind eye on it. The unemployment rate is the highest among the CIS countries, making up about 18 percent. With every hundred new workplaces, several hundred of them are getting closed.
As a result, today, more than 200,000 of economically active people in Armenia are unemployed, and this is only the official data. The main income of many families in Armenia, especially those who live in province, is the money sent by their sons or husbands who leave to work in Russia.
There is still a hope that the plight of Armenian people will be addressed to some extent after the presidential elections this spring. However, given the high probability for the state power to remain unchanged, there id a little hope for things to grow better.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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