2019 July 12
Anti-Corruption & News from Armenia - Jul/12/2019
Disclaimer: All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law, even if they may sound as being guilty. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.
We begin today's broadcast by reminding you that diversity is our strength
Serj's relative Ara Minasyan, the former director of St. Gregory Illuminator hospital, is facing more charges in relation to the uncovered 426mln hospital subsidy fraud case. He is accused of more instances of document forgery and embezzlement.
There is an arrest warrant for him issued by the court. He is still on the run.
Lori prosecutors released stats for 1H19 vs 1H18.
77 open criminal cases against public officials, vs 52 in last period. Half of the newly admitted cases happened because residents came forward and reported a corruption. 3x more causes were taken to the court.
957mln in damages to state (vs 165mln uncovered in 1H18). 196mln recovered (vs 71mln in 1H18).
29 soldiers died in 1H19. 11 died from enemy bullet, 18 from non-combat causes. The numbers are lower than in 1H18. The single largest cause of death is the car accident.
Artsakh has seen a massive 68% increase in foreigner tourists in 1H19 vs 1H18. The number of hotels and motels rose by 28%. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/166120
The US House of Representatives, lobbied by ANCA, has accepted the proposal to amend the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. It'll prohibit the US from selling types of weapons to Azerbaijan that can be used against civilian jets in Artsakh airports.
Azerbaijan had earlier threatened to shoot down civilian jets flying over Artsakh.
The House approved another amendment to acknowledge the importance of removing snipers and heavy weapons from the front line to de-escalate the conflict.
The construction of the new 250MW power plant in Yerevan has begun. Builder Italian RENCO company and German SIEMENSE invested $250 million. 1100 new employees with 275k avg salary. It'll take around 2 years to finish. It'll have 230 permanent workers.
It'll spend 27.4 Drams per kw/H power production, which is cheaper than the electricity produced in other thermal plants.
The new plant will replace the aging Hrazdan thermal plant, which produces electricity at 41 Drams per kw/H. Hrazdan currently only works part-time to supply rush-hour energy needs. The new plant will work full time.
Side note: there are currently 2 theories about the Wednesday mass brownout caused by voltage/currence fluctuations that lasted several hours. Despite the widespread nature of the event, significant part of the electrical system remained operational. The government and independent experts think the system displayed enough flexibility at the time of the "crisis". NSS will release the post-mortem in 10 days.
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/166100 - https://armtimes.com/hy/article/166096 - https://armtimes.com/hy/article/166101 - https://armenpress.am/arm/news/981519.html - https://armenpress.am/arm/news/981502.html - https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/166150 - https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/166061
A memorandum has been signed on building new 500MW renewable energy stations in Armenia. The specialists of Masdar company will visit Armenia to discuss the $500 million investment plan. It'll produce cheap and renewable energy.
Nature Minister said Ararat Plain has plenty of waters for irrigation. Combined with Mkhtchyan and Ranchpar water pumps, this could be enough to be used as a substitute for Sevan water drainage. Ministry is daily monitoring how much water is drained from Sevan, to prevent abuse.
The Japanese tech that kills algae is still being tested in the lab. The experts said it can penetrate and kill the source to reduce the "greenification".
(the end goal is to clean the lake from submerged trees, raise water levels, reduce the entrance of chemicals)
Some businesses located on the shores have complained that Healthcare Ministry's yesterday warning not to swim in algae water has harmed their business due to decreased attendance. One of the Darwin Award winning business owners went as far as to drink the water to prove it's safe. In other areas there were plenty of swimmers.
(Ministry earlier advised to only avoid the excessively-green waters to prevent an accidental swallowing or skin rushes. Medical examination showed that the cows that were found dead near the lake, had died from other reasons, not from the water.)
Deputy PM Mher Grigoryan says Gazprom will soon send a group to discuss the gas prices and the individual elements that have impact on the price.
"Ինչ վերաբերում է [Իրանական գազի] տեխնիկական և գնային բաղադրիչներին, իհարկե պետք է բանակցենք" , said Grigoryan.
Grigoryan said in order for EU and Armenia to eventually relax the visa regime for a free travel, Armenia first has to increase its living standards to come close to that of in Europe, otherwise there will be an "unwanted migration". Then some standards need to be toughened, for example vehicle related. The public needs to be prepared and the government needs to make reforms.
Press F to get richer: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/981541.html
He then joined the ceremony dedicated to celebrating France's national day (Bastille day?) https://armenpress.am/arm/news/981571.html
Update: It looks like BHK MP Tigran Urikhanyan changed his mind about quitting. Earlier he complained about some internal BHK turmoil and announced his resignation. https://news.am/arm/news/523667.html
EU and nearby countries with GPD growth: Armenia 7.1%, Hungary 5.2%, Romania 5%, Poland and Georgia 4.7%, Lithuania 3.8%, ..., Azerbaijan 3%, ... , Russia 0.8%, ..., EU as a whole 0.4%.
New fancy experimental bus being operated by a private company in route 26. https://hetq.am/hy/article/105542
For those of you who understand stock exchange https://hetq.am/hy/article/105546
«Ամբեր Կապիտալը» Հայաստանում առաջին մասնավոր բաժնեմասնակցային ներդրումային ֆոնդի հիմնադիրն է: Նախատեսվում է, որ ֆոնդի գործունեության պաշտոնական մեկնարկը կտրվի 2019 թվականի աշնանը՝ սեպտեմբեր-հոկտեմբեր ամիսներին: http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/270925/
Minister of Health Torosyan says homeopathy will be removed from the official list of specialties. He referred to it as a quackery. "You can't cure people by making them drink sugar" . No more licenses will be issued.
Ministry is discussing on what to do with people with existing licenses.
Yerevan municipality continues the removal of large ad banners from historical-cultural buildings. Baghramyan 1 and 2 were the targets. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/166135
Yerevan is hosting the Euro-2019 youth soccer championship between July 14-27. Tickets are as low as $0.5. Eight countries will compete. The first match is Armenia-Spain. The schedule is in the article....
A Ukrainese TV host joined his Georgian colleague and threw curses at Vladimir Putin on live TV. He mocked Putin's botox face, internal and foreign policy, internet censorship in Russia, etc.
Tourists. What do they want? Where are they from? https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=170&v=Su-0uluGayM
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/ccg0mc/anticorruption_news_from_armenia_jul122019/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|