2019 November 8

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption & News Summary - Nov/8/2019 :: Emigration declines -- Demographic reforms :: NASDAQ & Armenia :: 571mln embezzlement -- Tushonka :: ARF vs Education Minister -- reforms :: The Wheel of Bust :: Foreign relations :: Women in Armenia :: Nature protection & Trees :: Aviation & Tourism
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.


CivilNet earlier did an investigatory report to reveal Zangezur copper mine/factory's owners, some of whom are hiding behind offshore proxies. You can read the report in my earlier post, but if you prefer a short video...

https://youtu.be/6bqKLjIvtZk

Henrikh "permanently injured" Mkhitaryan will skip the upcoming matches due to the ongoing routine injuries.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/994550.html

A 9th century cross-tone found in Artsakh near Akna aka, which Azeris call Aghdam.

https://factor.am/197836.html

In 2001 the Kocharyan administration made a legal decision to sell 573mln worth Hayapaki state-owned firm's shares to a buyer from Ejmiatsin, for only 145mln (reports say buyer is Manvel Tushonka Grigoryan'ss wife Nazik Amiryan).

After getting the firm for cheap, the buyer was supposed to invest 250mln and create 700 jobs per-agreement.

Police says the buyer knew ahead of time they would never make these investments but decided to sign the deal nonetheless. No such investments were made. Taxes and fees were also evaded.

The firm filed for bankruptcy in 2003. Its shares were worth 717mln, but they were illegally calculated and classified as 121mln.

Meanwhile, the buyer created a proxy company, and bought the bankrupt firm's property for only 121mln.

The new proxy company then became part of another company.

The state official responsible for handling property transactions is suspected to have colluded with the buyer.

571mln was embezzled from state. Felony case is launched.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/173433

https://youtu.be/sREXvu9WjXk

ARF party admins held a press conference during which they continued to criticize Education Minister Arayik Harutyunyan over the proposed reforms.

Earlier ARF organized their student-wing to protest to demand Minister's resignation, by accusing him of being "Anti-Armenian" for the ongoing reforms which will give universities more authority to decide whether they want to require their students to be taught Armenian Language/Literature/History in universities. The idea is that universities may find these classes unnecessary for students who have a major unrelated to such subjects, and making it optional could allow students pay more attention on their major.

ARF admins didn't like the fact that Education Minister labeled the attacks against him as a "political orchestration by ARF".

ARF wants Minister Harutyunyan be charged with a felony for "false report", for saying that the student-protests are politicized, and for generally badmouthing the protests, which ARF refers to as "an all-out student revolt". (WTH I hope I misunderstood the felony accusation part, see link for yourself )

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/274885/

ARF admins referred to the protesters, who earlier this year boycotted the courts by shutting down their entrances, as "ill mannered". It was in response to Education Minister calling ARF ill mannered for trying to win political dividends over the reform response.

ARF won't rule out shutting down streets.

https://youtu.be/2qj3XlQcXzU

https://youtu.be/sO7SQDuzR3A

https://factor.am/197740.html

https://youtu.be/wiStJF_EWYw

ARF party's student wing, and several non-ARF students with Armenology as their major, continued the protests. 20 people spent the night on front of the Education Ministry. They want the government to continue to require all university students to take literature, language, history classes, instead of giving universities the autonomy to decide.

One of the alleged organizers of this protest, who is seen in the photo, is a Kocharyan activist Arshak Sargsyan, who also participated in "release Kocharyan" protests few months earlier. Earlier he tried to interrupt a meeting between Pashinyan and EU's Donald Tusk.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/173378

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/173387

Pashinyan went out and the protesters who demanded Minister's resignation. Told them it's the entire government's decision to do these education reforms, and that he addressed this topic during yesterday's meeting. Says he doesn't see the accused as being anti-Armenian. *"Our government has been the most pro-Armenian", said PM. T He then told them he doesn't share any of the protesters' views.

Protesters complained that the Minister doesn't want to listen to them. (I remember some them saying yesterday that they no longer want to talk, they just want him to resign.)

Pashinyan responded saying if there is an issue with listening, that can be fixed, and that he is there to listen to them.

https://youtu.be/FsZGWiTnOFI?t=8

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/994584.html

One of the protesters asked about why the Education Ministry subsidized a movie about transgender weightlifter Mel Daluzyan (the one who went to Holland and stopped a knife attack in a store).

Pashinyan said Mel is a 3-time world/EU/ARM champion who flew the Armenian flag in the air, and the Armenian govt is proud of it and is subsidizing the part about her achievements.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/994587.html

Chief of Higher Qualification Committee (that checks officials dissertations for plagiarism, etc.):

I learned how to read and write in the school. The EPH University taught me almost nothing in this regard.

People want to have an option to select what subject they want. In the past decade the practice of letting students to make decisions for themselves was discouraged.

Maybe a student at a Medical University should learn more about Latin words and relevant terminology. Similarly, a Foreign Language class in a university could be more specialized towards learning relevant technical terminology.

https://factor.am/197676.html

Random people were asked to comment about the education reforms. (this is not a scientific survey)

My favorite response came from the lady who basically said: if your dumbass hasn't managed to learn Armenian for 12 years, then you shouldn't be in a university. (Spice of the Day Award)

https://youtu.be/IF0e4_5FQwQ?t=23

Govt is subsidizing construction of 10 kindergartens in Kotayk province. 3 are build from zero, 7 are going through a complete renovation.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/173444

Stats committee was asked about imports and exports:

Govt said exports and imports rose 7.9% and 4.7% in 2019 vs 2018 period.

While a certain media outlet said the exports and imports declined by 1.2% and 0.4%.

Why the discrepancy?

The govt is talking about the dollar value, while the media outlet was probably referring to the product weight, but even if they did, the source of those numbers cannot be verified, because the exports and imports by weight rose too, at 12.6% and 4.7%.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/994624.html

Who is it going to be today? A mayor? A city official?

SPINS THE WHEEL dadadadada tatatatatata dadadadada DING DING DING

A mayor! of Byurakan has been caught with embezzling 3.6mln public funds by colluding with a company to forge the water service related fees, says police. Felony case is launched.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/173410

On April 29, 2019 we learned about financial machinations by Tsakhkatsor airway chopanughi management between 2008-2016.

It was about BHK boss Gagik Tsarukyan's Olympics committee doing some work with a company.

This company's boss caused a 465mln damage to state (taxes and stuff) and has just been placed on the wanted list, says the police.

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/274864/

5.9M earthquake struck Iran, 210km away from Armenia. Southern Armenian cities of Meghri, Kapan and Goris received 4M. Yerevan got hit by a 3M.

Deaths and casualties were reported in Iran. The quake was ~8M in the underground epicenter.

Armenia has offered emergency assistance to Iran.

Later that day a 7M aftershock struck. It was felt as 3M in Armenia's southern region.

6 dead and 345 injured in Iran.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/173379

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/173393

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/173452

US ambassador Lynn Tracey met Speaker Mirzoyan, spoke about House's genocide recognition, thanked for the good ties with US, said they support the ongoing reforms in Armenia, pointed out that the aid to Armenia rose 40%.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/994633.html

Infrastructure Minister met the Russian railways giant "Russian Railways" admin and spoke about its subsidiary "South-Caucasus Railways" work in Armenia.

They discussed increasing investments by 2024, refreshing the train "fleet". They agreed to create a joint group to further discuss and impalement these reforms.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/994600.html

NASDAQ: "Economic reforms put Armenia on radar of yield-hungry investors"

NASDAQ and international economists had a report about Armenia:

Armenia issued Eurobonds (to borrow money in 2020, now for lower interest rates), and the demand exceeded the supplies by 4x.

Last year peaceful protests brought a revolution which led to reforms. Economy begun to grow faster, faster than the neighboring Azerbaijan with oil.

The reform packages by PM Pashinyan seeks to establish rule of law, improve business conditions, have an efficient fight against corruption.

In September, Armenia sold $500mln 10-year Europbonds. The demand became $2bln. Armenia also purchased back part of its 2013 bonds. Armenian bonds fared better than most of regional countries.

End of report.

Pashinyan obviously went on Facebook to brag about this and to encourage investments.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/173453

https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/economic-reforms-put-armenia-on-radar-of-yield-hungry-investors-2019-11-07

Erebuni hospital now has a nuclear medicine treatment that will detect and kill cancer with a radioactive iodine. 6 patients can be treated simultaneously.

(don't play with those nuclear capsules pls)

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/994606.html

Georgetown institute examined how protected women and their rights are in various countries.

Report says Armenia improved its position in 2019, going up 18 positions, from 167th to 82nd.

% of female MPs in Parliament rose from 10% to 24%.

More female farmers apply and receive grants. Problems still exist.

Selective abortion is still an issue. China #1, Armenia and Azerbaijan #2.

https://factor.am/197617.html

Tavush governor Hayk Chobanyan:

We have put an end to widespread systematic illegal deforestation. 99% of cases are now revealed. The issue has been localized and is small scale, unlike in past. The routine checks make it almost impossible to sell the illegally logged trees.

The perpetrators are no longer organized groups. In recent times we've only found individuals doing the logging. Their numbers have declined several hundred times.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/173268

Nikol Pashinyan about nature protection:

Our reforms against deforestation in Armenia is effective.

2019 vs 2017 the amount of imported wood products for personal consumption (burning) rose 6.2x. The number of firms doing imports business rose 23%.

For construction, the imported wood rose 77% in 2019 vs 2017. The number of importer firms rose 52%.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/173438

Civil Aviation committee says Armenia and Georgia have improved the air traffic cooperation. Jets will be able to fly at higher altitudes and face fewer regulations. Travel time will be cut short.

This will affect:

125 daily flights

45,000 annual flights

28,700 miles saved annually

3,800 minutes saved

260 KG fuel saved

Not all European countries have such joint cooperation deals.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/173374

The loss of Armenian population due to emigration continues to decline.

2017: -53,900

2018: -15,700

2019: - 9,900

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/173425

In addition to increasing the money given to parents for having children multiple times across Armenia, and increasing child care subsides across Armenia, the govt will have 3 housing programs to help the population growth specifically in provinces. It's meant to give young couples their own apartments so they can have more kids.

2 kids, 5% mortgage subsidy, or 1mln.

3 kids, 10% mortgage subsidy, or 1.5mln.

4> kids. 15% subsidy, or 2mln.

The down-payment will also be subsidized. More details inside...

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/994576.html

The Salt of the Day Award goes to...

...the գյամշ who removed the wholesome statue of late actor Mher Mktrchyan and placed a state of another person. The statues have a similar style, but people noticed that the individual is different.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/173263


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/dto9rp/anticorruption_news_summary_nov82019_emigration/


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