2019 January 9
All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.
Manvel "Tushonka" Grigoryan no longer has a monopoly in cargo plastic-wrap packaging business near the Zvartnots Airport. Other businesses were complaining and have expressed fear in past about placing their own wrap-machines.
Today, there are dozens of them operating in the area. These companies wrap packages for 1k, while Manvel would charge 3k.
Businesses claim the low prices have resulted in more travelers stopping by and using the services.
10 more employees of Ministry of Nature Protection are charged with illegal deforestation, bribery and abuse of power between 2016-2017. These were the officials who were supposed to protect the nature.
Yerkir Tsirani's Zaruhi Postanjyan, who lost the seats in Yerevan municipality elections last year and made a failed attempt to hijack the revolution's platform earlier, has once again accused PM Nikol Pashinyan of colluding with Serzh Sargsyan and in reality being his ally. She referred to it as a criminal negligence by Pashinyan not to prosecute Sargsyan.
The government releases 4bln aid to provinces to help subsidy 216 various infrastructure, healthcare, education projects https://armtimes.com/hy/article/151960
Two prominent HHK members, Samvel Farmanyan and Mihran Hakobyan, have quit the party. They recently formed a group and purchased popular media networks ArmNews, Lav Radio (107 FM) and the news website http://www.Tert.am.
The protests in Kazakh town of Karaganda have stopped three days ago, says the Armenian community leader in the town. Earlier, a fight broke out between Kazakh guests and Armenian restaurant owners over the restaurant's closure time, which resulted in 1 death and 2 wounded. Three Armenians and one Kazakh are the prime suspects.
11 people of 5 various nationalities are currently under arrest for participating in the fight and later inciting ethnic hatred. 8 of the arrested are non-Armenians.
The altercation was earlier misrepresented as a hate crime by various agitators.
Tourism from Russia continues to remain high. New Year's travel has increases by 68% YoY, while the air travel cost fell 5%. Many Russians have stopped traveling to Turkey, Thailand and Italy. The tourism in general spiked after the the April 2018 events.
Pashinyan's office releases a statement repeating that the gas price increase at the border will be absorbed by GazProm's subsidiary company GazProm-Armenia, at the cost of its profit and expenditure optimizations.
(Gas price negotiations are still ongoing.)
Professor Davtyan at Armenia-Russian Slavonic University: The gas price was increased to $165 after the old $150 contract, signed on 2013, expired on 2018. When the contract was signed back then, it was agreed that Gazprom-Armenia subsidiary's profit would be 9%, which was a very high number because the consumption itself was small.
Now, Moscow has decided that large investments in the gas infrastructure upgrades, and therefor large profit margins for the subsidiary, are no longer needed. The gas price increase will be at the expense of fewer upgrades and less profit from the subsidiary, says professor.
However, it is possible that Russia may try to repeat what it did on 2011-2013 (and since earlier 2000s). At the time, they increased the gas price to $189. The Armenian government kept the prices the same for the consumer at the cost of a $300mln debt to Russia. To pay it off, Hay-Rus-Gazart gas company owned by Armenia, had to sell its remaining 20% shares of the infrastructure to Gazprom-Armenia. That is when the gas delivery structure became completely owned by Russia. There is a theory that Russia may try again to take more infrastructure in other energy sectors.
Professor says it's possible to prevent this from happening again by implementing the previous administration's plans to reduce Armenia's reliance on gas for electricity generation. A plan was put together to reduce gas-produced electricity from 42% to 18% by the year 2036, by improving nuclear plant and hydropower. The previous administration abandoned the project on 2016, while focusing on renewables. Professor believes we should go back to Nuke & Water for energy independence.
A more thorough history of Armenia's foreign relations with Russia, EU, gas prices, e.t.c.
Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan may transfer to Italian Milan as early as next month. Milan's coach found the player's style would fit the team's needs, and has initiated talks with Arsenal. At the moment, Miki is worth 30 million Euros.
The Economist publication's annual Democracy Index for 2018 shows Armenia noticeably increasing its index from 4.11 to 4.79. It is in the "hybrid orange" zone, next to Georgia and other Eastern European countries.
(scroll down for image) https://www.eiu.com/topic/democracy-index
The World Bank has improved the economic growth forecast for 2019 from 4% to 4.3%, and 4.6% for 2020. For 2018, it was predicted a 4.1% growth but the result was 5.3%. The government's own numbers are more optimistic for 2019/20
Georgian economy is predicted to grow 5% on 2019 and 2020. Azerbaijani economy to grow 3.6% on 2019, and 3.3% on 2020.
Aliyev regime has shown a tendency to change officials numbers over time and cover up emigration, military losses, casualties, number of unemployed and other numbers.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/aedtxb/anticorruption_jan92019/
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|