2019 August 29
Anti-Corruption & News - Aug/29/2019: War on criminal culture :: Lake Sevan :: Illegal mining in Yerevan :: Govt on 200 illegal fish business :: Chernobyl :: Ijevan mayor charged :: 6 Gegharquniq officials charged :: Gyumri economic zone :: Government spends & waivers :: Soccer match live
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.
Govt ran new studies and identified high priority areas in Sevan lake that need to be cleaned up from submerged trees quickly. 98 hectares of such water (instead of 67) to be cleaned this year with a 817mln grant.
Yerevan municipality issued a fine to a company that bought a land for agriculture in Yerevan but used it for years for stone mining.
Govt, BHK, Ministries, Investigators, Lydian reps, held a Skype meeting with ELARD environmental assessment firm. LHK boycotted it. Video will be available later.
General Prosecutor: a former Nature Protection minister gave illegal fish producing licenses to 211 businesses. No nature protection research was done before the approval. Even today, some fish businesses don't manage the water use properly.
PM: why not shut down all those businesses altogether?
Prosecutor: it's a complicated situation, we need more studies. Some of the problems can be solved without shutting them down.
Nature Minister: were working with the prosecutors to identify the violators who use too much water. There will be a constant monitoring.
PM: 2023 is the deadline. Any fish firm that doesn't meet the standards will be shut down.
The Govt decided to give each fish firm up to 6mln towards obtaining equipment that'll reduce water use. The firms will be required to increase their efficiency and produce more fish per liter of used water. Armenia exports 4k tons of fish and 150 tons caviar each year.
Context: Pashinyan has complained in past that illegal fish businesses harm Artezyan waters in Ararat Valley. "$1bln worth water is used to produce $200mln worth fish each year."
The govt wants to give 800 Chernobyl and Mayak radiation catastrophe liquidators a monthly aid. The current rules differentiate volunteer liquidators from those who were part of USSR army and were required to go to Chernobyl. They will all receive an extra aid equal to minimum pension.
Ijevan mayor (2011-present) and a city-funded company director are charged with felony abuse of power and embezzlement. Police says in 2016 the mayor appointed a friend's wife as the director of the company, who didn't go to work but received salaries from the city. The director herself had an employee who didn't go to work but received salaries between 2016-2018. Both are told not to leave the country.
4 felony investigations have revealed 39mln embezzlement by Gegharquniq governor office staff, and municipality staff, between 2008-2018. 37.2mln recovered. 6 people are charged.
Earlier we learned that the govt was flirting with the idea of jailing self-confessed thief-in-laws for creating and soliciting a criminal environment. This type of law was passed in Georgia years ago and was viewed favorably by ECHR. Today, the govt gave an approval to the draft bill (still needs Parliament).
Pashinyan: people in the criminal world consider prison their home, so let's send them home.
Խոսքը «օրենքով գողերի», «սխոդկաների», «աբշյակների» եւ այս կարգի այլ երեւույթների մասին է: Այս օրենքի ընդունման նպատակն այն է, որ այս ամենի մեջ ներգրավված մարդիկ ենթարկվեն քրեական պատասխանատվության:
The bill will allow a gang member to snitch in exchange for not getting arrested.
General prosecutor: these individuals many times hinder the law enforcement ability to solve cases.
Human Rights Ombudsman: it's a good bill, but it's important to look at other countries' practice to avoid problems.
Context: thieve-in-laws are USSR's version of mafia bosses. They get the title only after committing usually heavy crimes. Lower ranking criminals go to them to settle disputes or organize other crimes.
PM: Georgia was the first post-Soviet state to implement such law. It caused their thieves to escape to Russia. Russian parliament then adopted a similar bill to target their 500 thieves. Now it's time for Armenia.
Govt hopes that this will also end the subculture among youth that glorifies the thieves.
Minister if Economy welcomed Moody's financial rating improvement for Armenia which can encourage investments. He still isn't satisfied with the current investment-to-GDP ratio. "It needs to go from 17% to 23% to see significant improvements" .
Due to rating improvement, some financial processes will result in Armenia saving dozens of millions of dollars in future.
Central Bank rep reminded the Govt that Armenia has to close $500mln debt in 2020 because of bond deals in 2015. "Հայաստանը պետք է 500 միլիոն դոլարի մարում անի 2015 թվականին թողարկված պարտատոմսերի գծով:"
Govt approved an Armenian-Israeli plan to form a free economic zone near Gyumri Airport. It's about e-commerce warehouses and export-oriented manufacturing processes. Direct foreign investments are expected once it's done. 11-year staged construction. 319 hectare land. 13,000 jobs.
Pashinyan bragged about 23.7bln Govt subsidies for provincial infrastructure: some governments begin to repair roads 7 days before elections, others do the work 7 months after the elections.
Govt to spend 523mln on gym equipment for 384 schools and centers. This is more than the money spent in 2012-2019. Sports Minister said research shows the quality of equipment is tied to how well students do in international sports competitions in future.
58mln for Armenian national choir. PM said he supports subsidizing arts institutes without requiring them to be financially profitable, but work needs to be done by them to improve attendance.
250mln for NSS to buy spy toys.
7.8mln+14.1mln to help Syrian-Iraqi-Armenian families financially to better integrate in Armenia. 235 Syrians got an Armenian passport in 3Q19.
Govt gave a tax waiver to Jermuk Group mineral water producer so it'll invest 20.9bln. 15 new jobs with 180k salary.
Gold Cup firm receives a tax waiver to invest 4.4bln. 18 new jobs with 160k salary.
Zenni to invest 440mln on importing equipment. 10 new jobs with 120k salary.
PM office held a meeting with the military industrial complex reps. They'll create a database of all weapons produced in Armenia. Defense Ministry will then notify what their demands are for the next 5 years. If there is a match and local has high standards, the Govt will buy locally produced weapons, only if the quality is high.
European Junior Olympia in Informatics: 1 gold and 2 bronze medals by students
Zipline tour while the traveler wears a VR headset. Feels like you're flying in the space.
Pashinyan's little daughter tried to trick her parents to give her ice cream.
Ararat is playing against Luxembourg team. First match was won with 2:1. Any victory, draw or even a defeat by a small margin will earn Ararat a ticket to the group competition, for the first time in 40 years.
Update: 0:1 Ararat is winning
Update: Armenians have 5 yellow cards as of 61st minute
Update: 2 ethnic Armenian players out of 11 lol (Foodball Federation earlier announced tighter rules to limit legionnaire quantity)
Update: 2:1 Luxemburg is ahead. If it ends like this, extra time is needed. 20 minutes left.**
Update: Final is over. Still a tie. They'll play an extra 30 minutes.
Update: Extra time gave no luck. It's penalties time. Each team has missed one shot.
FINAL: Ararat has lost the match. They missed 2 penalty shots, while Luxembourg missed 1. Better luck next time!
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/cx5k88/anticorruption_news_aug292019_war_on_criminal/
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