By Rashid Shirinov
The doleful social and economic situation that has been existing in Armenia for many years resulted in even more problems in the poor South Caucasus country. Tens of thousands of people continue to leave abroad every year, since they see no future in Armenia.
“There is an internal gap within Armenia: the small ruling elite is gradually becoming richer, and a large number of Armenian citizens are becoming poorer and alienates from statehood and the state,” Ara Papian, head of the Modus Vivendi Center, has recently said in an interview with 1in.am. “As a result, we have had a huge emigration, increased external debt, etc.”
Official data say that as many as 30 percent of the Armenian population are poor, but the real figure may be much higher. As for emigration, the resident population of Armenia was 3,230,000 on January 1, 2008, but it dropped to 2,972,000 in the beginning of 2018. Thus, about 260,000 people left Armenia in the past 10 years.
Speaking about the situation in Armenia after the April battles in 2016, Papian admitted that now the country is in a more isolated situation. He mentioned that before the April events, the Armenian government was assuring people that everything was all right, but the “four-day war” revealed huge shortcomings of the Armenian army.
The April fights between the Armenian and Azerbaijani armed forces confirmed the grave situation in the Armenian army. As it turned out, Armenian soldiers were dying not having even bullets, and the tanks could not go into battle, as they had water instead of fuel. Thus, Armenian soldiers had no choice but to leave combat positions and flee.
“Now the authorities tell us that there is great progress, and all we can do is to believe,” Papian said.
Answering the question about the possibility that several political forces, which announced a struggle against the authorities, will succeed, the head of organization noted that he welcomes all steps aimed at restoring the Constitution in Armenia, that is, the return of power to the people.
On the other hand, he noted that none of the legitimate ways of fight will work in a country where laws do not work, that is, the positive results should not be expected.
“If nothing can be done by law, nothing can be done by force,” Papian said. However, he welcomes any form of struggle, since it gives people hope at least.
“Today the authorities must understand one thing: we can not only lose the state, but also the existence of a collective society, and become a fragmented nation,” the head of the Modus Vivendi Center summed up.
However, the Armenian authorities will surely pay no heed to Papian's words, since they are blinded by the unlimited power over the country. This will certainly result in a disaster for the whole Armenia soon.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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