2019 September 9
Anti-Corruption & News - 9/9/19 :: Govt to inject $117 million into economy :: Get aid = must work :: Amulsar :: Investments :: Prosecutors won't release Kocharyan :: NSS vs IRS :: Artsakh elections a success :: Parliament :: Fertility program :: 10x corruption busts :: Medicine sales competition
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.
Amulsar mining update.
ELARD environmental examiner found the waters and air will be safe if miner Lydian implements 16 safety mechanisms on Amulsar hill. It would then require a new land assessment to verify these 16 improvements work, and the nature is safe, per ELARD.
Pashinyan said there are no legal grounds at the moment to shut down the mine. There is also no legal ground to do a new SHMAG land assessment at this stage. Today, he said Lydian should be allowed to continue its construction works, but not the mining yet. The mining itself can't/won't begin until 2021. Pashinyan said if Lydian is caught with polluting and violating the agreement, they will be shut down for good.
Pashinyan asked the environmental activists to lift the blockade of the roads leading to Amulsar. They've been closed since 2018. Meanwhile, before the mining can begin, the environmental committee will do more audits to find out if a new land assessment is needed. In his Facebook video Pashinyan repeated that Armenia cannot unfairly target one business and ban them if there are no legal grounds, "it'll be bad legally and economically".
Pashinyan spoke about the Investigative Committee agent who was tasked with finding out if the previous govt's Nature Ministry officials committed felony or not. Media wrote that this investigator has a common relative with the person he was investigating. Conflict of interest accusations were made. It turns out this investigator himself disclosed his connection before he begun the investigation, but his immediate boss, upon reviewing the law, told him to continue the work because there was no conflict of interest per regulations.
Pashinyan says nonetheless the Investigative Committee decided to transfer the case to another investigator.
The environmental activists have refused to lift the blockade of Amulsar.
BHK boss Gagik Tsarukyan says the govt has go do all the exams and find a common ground with the opponents of the mine. "If people don't want it, the mine shouldn't operate".
He was then asked about the gold mine in Mkhart that belongs to him. He said if people complain about it and he fails to resolve it, he'll shut it down.
QP supports Pashinyan's decision to allow Lydian to do construction works at this stage. They said the next 1 year, before the mine can operate, could be used for more studies.
Police busted an illegal stone mining (2013-2015) in Avshar. 96mln damage to state. Felony case is launched.
Constitutional Court earlier made a verdict about the idea of presidential immunity. It was interpreted in various ways. (Read the previous post for more details)
Rob's lawyers asked the prosecutors to release him from custody. Prosecutors denied, saying the verdict doesn't require Rob to be freed. Prosecutors cited the full verdict, saying it gives the prosecutors right to do their thing, and that the verdict was about cases when a president is charged with doing things that were part of his duties, and that for Kocharyan to be freed there needs to be a court trial. For the full and legal explanation read the article...
Kocharyan lawyer disagrees, says Rob should still be freed.
A popular anti-Roboserj political analyst Styopa Safaryan, brother of March 1st lawyer and former investigator Seda Safaryan, has been mugged on front of his apartment door. Two people pushed him to the corner and stole the iPhone, per police report. Police was called and he contacted NSS. His sister Seda was also supposed to go upstairs but had a change of plans.
Seda says they noticed the men hanging around earlier. She believes they were targeted personally based on the way it was organized. Styopa pointed out a post by a Facebook user made shortly before the attack calling him derogatory terms, and asked him to be part of the investigation.
There is no evidence at this time that the attack was politically motivated. The police are investigating.
Styopa Safaryan believes the motive of attack wasn't a robbery, but a retaliation against his political views. He gave the details of the attack. He believes Kocharyan's allies are responsible.
(Safaryan is a strong critic of Kocharyan and has recently accused Rob's admin of March 1st crimes and for stealing foreign investments during highway projects.)
Kocharyan allies held a protest on front of a court. They demanded to speak with the judge who is supposed to hear the Rob & Co trial. They want the judge to launch another trial regarding Constitutional verdict, and to free Rob.
Yes, folks. There is going to be another Rob trial soon. This is the one that was mandated by the Appeals court after it found another court trial verdict to be illegal.
NSS says they busted a high ranking IRS official with demanding and receiving a 1mln bribe from a business in exchange for not auditing and recording the company's problems.
NSS then busted the company with counterfeiting popular car oil brands. The director also owned an illegal firearm. 2 people are charged with felony.
Property Registrations Committee wants you to know that they've stopped embezzling the fuel paid by govt. They'll end the 2019 with 70,000 liters of unused fuel.
Artsakh Republic held local elections in 228 settlements, including in capital Stepanakert. Small violations were found, including 1 report of alleged bribery. Transparency International and Human Rights office said the elections were fair, and the results aren't affected by mostly technical problems.
Businessman and Artsakh kick-boxing federation boss David Sargsyan is elected as mayor of Stepanakert.
Opposition party boss Hayk Khanumyan says the elections were fierce but respectful. In some places the winning candidate had only 30% votes, proving that these elections were competitive. In many big settlements the opposition won, which was a "fantasy" until now.
The Parliament rejected the hearing of a bill proposed by a very straight BHK MP Gevorg Petrosyan who wants to ban "gay propaganda" among those under 16, again. It was first rejected few months ago by the Pashinyan cabinet, because it was deemed "redundant" due to existing laws banning sexual content for minors.
The Parliament is favorable to another BHK bill that could ban hiring discrimination based on age and gender. If passed, employer cannot advertise jobs and demand/hire candidates based on those characteristics, unless the nature of the job clearly mandates it.
The police will issue a ticket to BHK boss Gagik Tsarukyan for organizing fireworks at night during the cerebration of his daughter's wedding.
Many Yerevan residents complain about night time noise. Police will triple the number of night patrols. This year they've caught 2x more instances of disturbances.
Yerevan city bought 8 more garbage trucks. 20 trucks and 4400 bins on the way. They plan to replace the troubled Sanitek.
Today the city begun to sort out waste. Cardboard will be collected separately and given to processing firms.
Prosecutors' office released their 1H19 anti-corruption stats. 453 violations found, most of which were related to nature protection and social security. 36.6bln damages. 1.2bln recovered.
In 1H18, only 2.7bln worth damages were uncovered.
Police says they busted the director of Stepanavan school with embezzling 2mln from 2007 to April-2018 (nice d8 m8) by forcing teachers to give him part of their salary or else get fired. Felony case is launched.
Unemployment in Turkey has reached 12.8%. Around 23% of non-agriculture and 88% of agriculture workers are believed to be unregistered. Investments are down. Foreign debt is $334bln.
132,000 able-bodies citizens don't work and only rely on govt welfare programs as their only income.
A proposed plan will require them to do some type of work to qualify for aid. At first, the person will be given 6 month of aid. During this time plus another 6 months, the govt will provide help to find a job, education classes, mental support.
This work requirement will apply to those who are applying for welfare aid for the first time, or for those who re-apply.
From Jan-Aug of 2019, the govt gave VAT breaks to 9 investors to invest 95.5bln and create 969 jobs. Customs taxes were wavered for 40 investors to invest 153bln and create 1263 jobs.
Compared to 2018 period, the investments rose 3x, the planned new jobs rose 60%.
(These are the investments which receive a special tax waiver after a manual govt approval.)
PM: total foreign investment in the real sector increased by 26% in 1H19vs18 (from 558bln to 705bln). Foreign direct investment flows up 20% (126bln to 152bln).
Pashinyan: The govt wants to inject $117 million cash into the economy by paying money to 9,000 businesses. This money was "over-collected" from the businesses as of 2017, but somehow wasn't returned. The businesses didn't expect this money. A decision was made to "return" it to them.
Pashinyan referred to this amount of injection an "unprecedented and revolutionary move in Armenia".
Pashinyan: I recently sold my car and kept the money in Drams in the bank. 51% of Armenians today prefer Dram over a foreign currency.
The govt will spend 210mln to subsidize the infertility treatment for 300 couples who want babies. Every year a certain amount will be dedicated.
The woman has to be 20-35 (or older if served in army). The couples can receive several types of treatments and fertilizing procedures. The program launches today.
State Commission for the Protection of Economic Competition plans to improve the competition in medicine sales business, by preventing large wholesale sellers from conducting small sales as well. They say the large importers sometimes harm smaller competitors by discriminating against them.
Georgia changes its Prime Ministers more often than you change your socks.
Chess player Sergey Movsesyan finished #1 in Chelyabinsk international tournament.
Armenian soccer team played a match against Bosnia in Euro2020 in Yerevan.
Bosnian player: I hope Mkhitaryan is in a bad shape today.
Henrik Mkhitaryan scores on the 3rd minute. 1:0
On 66th minute Mkhitaryan scores again.
95th minute, Miki causes a Bosnian player to strike his own net. 4:2 at this point.
Armenia wins the match and preserves a chance to finish 2nd in the group, which is needed to proceed to playoffs. Currently it's on 3rd place. Series of other favorable events happened. The main competitor Finland lost to Italy, while Greece finished 1:1 with Lichtenstein.
Bosnian coach has resigned.
Roma's legend Francesco Totti wishes Mkhitaryan good luck in Roma and hopes he won't sit on the bench like in Arsenal. He thinks Roma fans will like Miki's game.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/d1wafl/anticorruption_news_9919_govt_to_inject_117/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2020 Daily Armenia Reports|