2019 November 15
Anti-Corruption & News TLDRs - Nov/15/2019 :: SOC vs Police :: Police vs School directors :: Budget discussions _ Govt vs Opposition :: Finances _ Stats :: Adekvad or Neadekvad? :: Former regime consolidating powers :: Justice Ministry _ Inmate education & Job :: more inside...
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.
Here is your Friday report. Have a nice weekend.
Update: Things are getting spicier...
Yesterday the Labor Ministry said a Roboserj activist group Adekvad's members broke into Gyumri orphan child care facilities, mislead people, gave parents some cash to take recordings. Ministry says they broke some laws and contacted the police.
Adekvad says the mentioned man isn't a "Adekvad party member". Ministry says he is a member of the Adekvad group. (Adekvad was a loose gang which begun walking on the streets dressed in black and allegedly harassed some people, before turning into an actual political party).
The Ministry says the man who broke into the facilities is the same mentally unstable guy who threw ink on the so called "satanists" who were reading Yeghishe Charents poems in a weird art manner earlier. This performance later prompted protests by Roboserj groups. This guy was detained during these protests, after assaulting the performers. While being carried away he made some neadekvadni comments saying "failure to take care of gays (meaning exterminate them) in 90s is why we're having this problem today".
The child care facility admins said the group presented themselves as Adekvad and as media outlet members.
Update: Yesterday the NSS said they busted a child trafficking and abduction network which operated between 2016-2018 by people who pressured mothers to give kids away.
It turns out the victim numbers were higher, now 76 is mentioned.
State Oversight Committee (SOC) audited the police and concluded that 700mln in damages was done to state. Memo says:
Police misused 368mln funds that were transferred to Vahan Foundation (veteran support).
Police signed improper contracts with inflated product costs (car registration cards) with various companies since 2010, causing 223mln damage to state.
Police signed a 1.2bln worth contract with a company to provide services to child-protection initiative, but the services weren't provided and the police didn't do anything about it.
Police officials forged documents to misuse state funds to purchase one luxury vehicle instead of several regular ones. In other instances, wrong cars were delivered and for higher prices.
Auction violations were made, resulting in state paying more than needed while purchasing and servicing cars.
Police runs an institute called Dinamo, and paid them 129mln since 2014. The institute didn't properly use its assets and didn't compensate the state, and didn't register their property properly with Cadastre.
Police says they busted 3 school directors in Gyumri for falsifying employment records to hire fake employees to embezzle millions in salaries between 2017-2019. Felony case is launched.
120 police officers planted 1,000 trees in Teghut, Tavush. They busted 265mln worth illegal logging in the past 4 months alone.
It's a mystery that keeps happening. After the revolution, various govt bodies said they started to spend multiple times less on padavat work car fleet and fuel.
Now the Protection of Economic Competition commission says they spent 3x less.
Electric cars or something else? hmm 🤔
Various Roboserj politicians gathered in Hamalir to discuss "issues concerning Armenia". It is headed by Vazgen Manukyan, who recently quit from Public Council after being criticized for making anti-Pashinyan/pro-Kocharyan political statements despite being the head of a bipartisan (apolitical) institute. He was accused of being Serj's puppet.
Their new initiative is called Vernatun. High ranking administrators from HHK, ARF, Kocharyan team, and few others were present. Serj's son-in-law (media magnate and mining guy) Mikael Minasyan earlier urged everyone to join the movement.
Founder Vazgen Manukyan says the group members use their personal resources for the initiative. He plans to revive his own AZHm party soon.
"This has to be a movement of resistance", said one member.
During the meeting, a former Heritage Party MP and 2004-2006 Human Rights Ombudsman Larisa Alaverdyan suggested legislatively banning the use of cursing in daily life (հայհոյանք). She also spoke about Artsakh and other topics.
QP MP Gayane Abrahamyan about Vernatun meeting:
Georgians are protesting again. The ruling party's owner promised people to change the Construction to establish a proportional electoral system, if people elected his candidate during last elections. People elected his candidate.
Yesterday his party broke the promise. People protested. They say the current system gives the ruling party too much power. 9 ruling party MPs quit the party. EU criticized the failure to amend the Constitution.
2020 Budget is being discussed these days. Opposition parties have the pitchforks out, QP has the shields up (note that many of this stuff below can be misleading by both sides due to rhetoric):
LHK: Where are your tourism development plans? We also don't see any budget for developing solar and wind energy in 2020. The 10 million tree planting isn't in the budget package so where u getting money from, our calculations show you'll need 20bln. We proposed 54bln on nature protection but you only present 16bln. The agricultural insurance package isn't going to make a significant difference in daily lives because agriculture rose only 0.5%. Okay the capital expenditures are impressive, but we're skeptical of what's behind it. Return this budget within 4 days and bring a better one.
BHK: you can't have an economic revolution with this budget. Big talk, no action.
QP: we have a 477mln budget for 2020 which will be used for planting the trees, plus a donor country will give us 1 million baby-trees ready for planting.
QP: the military industrial complex funding will rise 122%, reaching 6.3bln. 12.5bln to help create competitive military tech for exports. 1bln funds to kick-start 90 high-tech startups. We're working to improve our tech's standards to help with exports. 1bln/year to digitize some things.
LHK: the predicted 5% GDP growth is too low. Where is your revolution?
QP: Between 2013-2017 the revenues grew by $400mln or 0.7% per year in average. In the last 2 years that growth is 10% per year. Revenue growth acceleration rose 14.3%. External debt is down and we have more foreign reserves. All the opposition predictions about unprecedented price hikes, empty coffers and no money for pension rise turned out to be false. ARF is mad and chasing satans on the streets today because they've got nothing else to criticize.
LHK: your 2020 budget has no funds for promoting Armenian language abroad.
Education Minister: False. Our 2020 reforms will double the money spent on this cause, totaling 48mln. It's in the bill. We'll also include one more university (Cairo) where we'll promote the Armenian language.
QP: Budget revenues. 2017: 1.2trln, 2018: 1.3trln, 2020: 1.7trln. It's unprecedented.
A 20bln increase in healthcare, 8.5bln increase for caring disabled and poor, 457 families who lost homes in 1988 quake to get housing aid.
We're trying to spend money only if we know it'll bring practical benefits. You've (opposition parties) presented >220bln worth additional project ideas but we aren't sure they're practical.
Pashinyan: the budget is revolutionary. In 2018 I promised to increase the budget revenues by almost a third in 2 years. In 2020 the rise will be 27.4%. If we add to that the 62bln budget overrun in 2018 which aren't reflected here, we'll have a 33% rise. If we hadn't "pardoned" some funds, we would have a 35% rise.
Capital expenditures in 2020 are 135% higher than in 2018.
In 2020 we'll spend as much money for road repairs and rebuilding, as in 2015-2017 combined.
In the field of housing construction and utilities we have a 120% increase.
Healthcare expenditure went up 39%. Hospital care is free for those under 18. Education up 34%. Defense was up 28%. Nature protection up 41%. Debt-to-GDP down from 58% to 52%. Beginning 2020, 230k workers will pay less taxes (essentially a salary raise). Soldier and teacher salaries up.
Beginning 2020 the micro-business (under <24mln turnover) will be exempt from taxation.
These things have an impact on daily lives. "բա հեղափոխականը պոզով-պոչով է՞ լինում", said PM.
Justice Ministry: to rehabilitate inmates, we plan to make sure they learn skills and have jobs while locked up. We're working with Human Rights office and NGOs to solve long-standing issues.
Yerevan city cleaned up and installed lighting in Lusavorich-Mashtots underground passage. They plan 3 more this year. Press F if you'll miss the smell of piss.
Southern Kapan, Syunik airport will open in Spring-2020. Kapan-Yerevan ticket 40k ($84). Airport can serve 100 passengers per hour.
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/dwvljz/anticorruption_news_tldrs_nov152019_soc_vs_police/
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