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Gov't focused on private interests in Armenia, public protests rise

19 March 2014 18:20 (UTC+04:00)
Gov't focused on private interests in Armenia, public protests rise

By Jamila Babayeva

On the background of deteriorating socio-economic situation in Armenia the government's agenda is very amazing. The recent issues which have been included in the agenda create an impression that the government does not live in Armenia's reality, and solving private problems is the government's main priority.

Being dissatisfied with the design of the state license plates the government decided to tackle this "vitally important" problem. The government intends to change the design of the state license plates, as current design do not allow the police to distinguish the cars of officials who violate the traffic rules.

The government's meeting is expected to take a decision to redesign the plates by increasing the size of letters and adding the Armenian flag on it.

Such a desire of the state and government officials of Armenia whose every third resident is officially tabled as poor is quite surprising.

While the population suffer from poverty, the government officials enjoy wonderful life. Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan wastes state budget for foreign trips, traveling by specially rented aircrafts.

"Sargsyan rented the plane from the Air Armenia company to fly to Sochi to participate in the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi on February 23. And this special flight amounted to 8,800,000 drams or more than $21,000," the local media wrote.

High-ranking officials, including parliamentary speaker and head of constitutional court, travel on business by usual trip. "PM has decided to differ from other officials, but unfortunately he did it at the expense of the citizens of Armenia," media highlighted.

Such actions boost the public dissatisfaction towards the government, Sargsyan's government may face distrust by the parliamentary opposition soon, as they believe the change of power to be the only possible way to take the country out of the current situation. Four opposition parties are expected to declare distrust to the government at the parliamentary session on April 28.

The capital Yerevan will face the next larger protest against pension reforms on March 22. The rally of the civil initiative "I protest" will be supported by the parliamentary opposition. Anti-pension dissatisfaction has already involved employees of all spheres - railway men and actors, subway workers, and electricity employees. The Constitutional Court will adopt on March 28 a final decision on a law on the introduction of compulsory accumulative pension system, which was met by larger protests among people.

So, March 28 seems to be a crucial date for the Armenian authorities. The decision which will be adopted by the Constitutional Court can either give a new impetus to mass protests, or calm down public dissatisfaction temporarily.

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