2019 May 2

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption May/2/2019: Manvel stays in jail; 100/0.... Several more HHK administration officials charged with assaulting a journalist and protesters in 2018.... Government session.... Gagik Tsarukyan..... Registered unemployed down 8%.... many other stories inside
by ar_david_hh

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.

50/50 is for normies. Try 100/0.

Manvel Grigoryan had a court hearing today. One of the accusers told a story about how on 2004 Manvel allegedly took his family's gas station business away, then silenced them by making physical threats. The family only came forward after the 2018 revolution and Manvel's arrest, because they feared of inaction under the previous regimes.

The family says the gas station is currently owned by "Ejmiatsin Cleaning" firm, whose 100% share owner is Manvel Grigoryan's wife Nazik Amiryan (also facing felony charges).



Manvel Grigoryan has lost the court appeal to have him released under 10mln bail. He will remain detained.


During the 2018 April revolution, the HHK regime sent dozens of masked thugs to assault peaceful protesters. They were filmed damaging nearby properties as well. Later, under the new government, Masis mayor and dozens of others were arrested as part of the investigation.

This case still continues. Several former Yerevan municipality employees have also been charged today with assaulting a journalist and stealing his property.


Kocharyan's lawyer says they don't deny that the soldiers, who were brought to Yerevan on March 1st 2008, were paid 50k each. He says Rob wasn't aware of it, however.

Rob also claims he wasn't aware that the Defense Minister he appointed was a Russian citizen (who is currently hiding in Russia). Rob says he also wasn't aware of the March 1st shootings until he woke up on March 2nd.


(Next: Rob stars in the world's best sleeping pill commercial 😉)

Swedish parliament has ratified the EU-Armenia comprehensive cooperation agreement.


Armenian-German firm has received tax waivers to invest 580mln to create industrial filters and accessories in Tavush province. 20 new jobs with 150k avg salary. 145mln annual production, mostly for abroad.



Former oligarch and current businessman Samvel "Lfik" Aleksanyan wants to invest 15.6bln to import materials and equipment to enlarge the clothing production business. His textile business currently has 1104 employees. The investments will create 400 new jobs with 115k avg salary. Annual production will be worth 26.8bln, 2/3rd of which will be exported to EAEU and EU.

The government has given his imports a temporary tax-free status, annulling 1.1bln in taxes as an incentive.



The government made several other decisions during the session.

BHK suggested to amend the law to end age-based hiring discrimination. Pashinyan said they've been receiving lots of concerns about discrimination. The government ended up rejecting the BHK's amendment, finding it contradictory to another existing law. The government will discuss the legal solution later.


BHK submitted an amendment to classify animal abuse as felony. The government agrees with the idea but rejected the proposal, saying the language was too broad and people who kill a lamb for food/festivities also fall under the felony category. The topic will be further discussed with the Parliament.



Another BHK proposal was rejected. This one suggested to hold Parliamentary sessions in provinces, twice a year. The government deemed it as an unnecessary waste of significant funds and time.



The government rejected a proposal by LHK to make government office's security related purchases publicly available. Justice Ministry was against this, saying it opens a security hole. Pashinyan jokingly asked if they should also disclose the exact routes government officials plan to use during their trips, how many security personnel and what types of weapons they are carrying, so a terrorist attack could be made easier.

LHK later agreed that the proposal had flaws. There will be a further discussion. The proposal was rejected today.



Ministry of Labor introduced a proposal discussed by some, including opposition MPs, which suggests the following changes:

   allow seniors to receive their pension through an authorized person for 15 years, instead of the existing requirement which says the authorization has to renew every year.
   remove the requirement that forces a senior to visit a bank once a year to verify they are living in Armenia, in order to receive the pension.
   remove the law that suspends the pension if the senior hasn't received it 12 years in a row.
   utilize a system that records the deaths of Armenian citizens in foreign countries, and to use it for several pension related purposes. (this was later added by Justice Minister)

Pashinyan complained that parts of the plan could allow people to abuse the pension system further, saying that there is info that the government loses dozens of billions every year by paying pensions to people who have died. Pashinyan was against removing the verification requirements, but he wanted it reformed to make it easy for the seniors.

Pashinyan and Communication Minister offered replacing the current walk-in verification practices with a digital systems, to remotely identify/verify the pension is in Armenia and alive, in order to cut abuse and make the process faster. For this to happen, some laws must be changed first.




The government gave a cognac company (owned by a former opposition MP) a 3-year tax free status to invest 2.8bln to produce alcohol in a province. 37 new jobs with average 260k salary are planned.



The government has approved a plan to take 13.4mln Euro loan from the world development bank to fix 61KM roads in 6 provinces that will improve trade and reachability for rural areas. The project will also examine traffic patterns and improve safety.


(Cement tariff story)

Because it contains accusations of illegal conduct, the SIS will investigate the open letter sent by a non-Parliamentary political party, urging the Parliament to suspend BHK leader Gagik Tsarukyan's MP status, accusing him of breaking the law that prohibits MPs from mixing their business with politics.

The letter claimed that during several of the recent media interviews, Gagik Tsarukyan accidentally gave away the fact that he is still the decision maker of some of the businesses owned by him, despite claiming that the businesses are run by a separate board of trustees.



Parliament speaker Mirzoyan responded to that letter, saying that the decision to initiate a formation of an ethics committee to investigate the matter is outside of his control. He urged Gagik Tsarukyan to be more transparent and answer the questions that the public has, and reminded him about the specific laws that prohibit mixing business with politics.


Stats: The number of known unemployed people in need of a job has been reduces by ~8% on 2019 vs 2018. The overall number of people (employed or unemployed) seeking a job is down by ~5% on 2019 vs 2018. Women account for 66% of the unemployed.

The number of available job positions in the government registry is 2,500. The minimum wage is 55k ($114). The average wage is 172k ($357). The highest paying field is Information & Technologies, at 420k ($873) average salary per month.



For the first time in 10 years, Georgia has begun repairing and widening its part of the road connecting Georgia to Armenia at Akhaltsikhe-Ninotsminda. Armenia begun the works earlier. Once complete, the project will aid the trade and tourism.


Armenians in LA, California have decided to organize a charity telethon to collect funds for Georgia's Javakhk region, which has a high percentage of Armenian population. The goal is to aid the rural Armenian communities with various projects.


Remember when road workers in Armenia were filmed laying out asphalt under the rain? Well, this is what you get when you do something like that: http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/160389

Some of the work was damaged just few days later, and the rest were damaged under a year. The repair company has received a warning. The Lori governor says the company won't be paid for the work.

General Prosecutor says 16% of all crimes recorded on 2018 took place in prior years, but were recorded and solved on 2018, thus artificially boosting 2018's crime rate stats. 2018 saw the lowest murder rates in 30-40 years. Prosecutor wants the punishment for burglary to get stricter in order to slow down its increasing rates.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/160445 ---- http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/160449

Hrazdan mayor congratulates the city's sanitation workers with May 1st celebration by giving them a $30 salary rise.


Progressive activists are protesting on front of the Parliament building against the proposed plans to implement 20% flat income tax, instead of the current progressive brackets. The progressive taxation was implemented in past. While still in power, HHK proposed plans to change it to flat tax after concluding it wasn't efficient, but they didn't have time due to the revolution.

QP also agrees that a flat tax would be best for the current economy. Some of the voiced reasons for it are to put more cash in the hands of middle/upper bracket earners and to put it in the circulation, to discourage grey economy by removing a reason for workers to hide the real income by claiming it's within the lowest tax bracket. We'll soon learn what other arguments and counter-arguments are when it's discussed in Parliament. The lost funds will be substituted by taxes on things such as alcohol and cigarettes. Activists say this is bad for the low-income residents. ARF and (possibly BHK) supports the progressive taxation.

https://a1plus.am/hy/article/339263 --- https://youtu.be/NLLRD8Jw7bU?t=108

Daily Fake News & Rumor Alert.

NSS chief Vanetsyan's assistant has asked a non-Parliamentary politician to retract a social media post which the NSS chief says is fake news and a defamation against him. The politician's lawyer disagrees and says the NSS chief is abusing his powers.



Nature Protection Minister will sue a business owner for an alleged defamation. The latter accused the Minister of abusing his position to "sponsor" the CEO of Yerevan Zoo, and allegedly doing a business with the CEO. The Minister says he welcomes legitimate criticism, but will demand an apology for "a lie and a defamation".

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/160517 --- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/973464.html


The acting SOC chief denied the "scandal" spread by a Roboserj outlet Hraparak alleging that a high ranking clergy member is his father. The outlet earlier claimed a high ranking churchman was his father, and that was against some church laws. The acting SOC chief says they are relatives, which is why they have the same last name.

Journalists questioned where he got his $114,000 money/property from. Initially he refused to publicly comment. Later he said the financial report has been declared beginning 2016 before he first became a public official, and that his family members supported him financially. Says the money was publicly declared before he assumed the public office.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/973421.html --- http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/160478 ---- the "scandal" https://hraparak.am/post/929337526


Russian PM Medvedev made a joke during a EAEU meeting. Some people had no choice but to see a scandal in it.

Pashinyan gives his context about the interaction: The meeting lasted 2.5 hours longer than anticipated. They were supposed to have a coffee break after the meeting. When Pashinyan said "Are you ready to move on" (referring to continuing the next chapter of discussions), Medvedev laughed and hinted to wrapping up and moving on to the coffee party.

Others have other theories: Nikol asked "Does anyone have objections, can we move on?". Medvedev answers "No" as in "No objections". He later realized Nikol asked a different question, and asked "Move on where?". Nikol said "To sign some papers", Medvedev: "We have no objections".

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/268328/ --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_EnmNBObiY


Now the REAL scandal! Pashinyan fires his daughter from family for failing to stand up during the anthem. /s


National Geographic: 9 блюд, которые нужно попробовать в Армении


Grandmaster Karen Grigoryan won the international rapid chess tournament held in CIUDAD DE MÓSTOLES.


The Georgia-Azerbaijan border dispute around a church explained


The Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) imports to EU have increased by 272% in the past year. American LNG exports reached 1.4bln cubic meters, which is 13% of all LNG imports by EU. 35% of American LNG exports go to EU.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/973377.html -- https://www.politico.eu/newsletter/brussels-playbook/politico-brussels-playbook-presented-by-naftogaz-of-ukraine-race-for-london-junckers-magic-gas-eu-chess-mates/

Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/bjzvo4/anticorruption_may22019_manvel_stays_in_jail_1000/

2018 Daily Armenia Reports














2019 Daily Armenia Reports