2020 May 19
- 1 Anti-Corruption Daily
- 2 Artsakh war
- 3 EAEU discusses gas prices
- 4 SOC auditors found 613mln in damages / 1.2bln transferred
- 5 High ranking NSS agent quits
- 6 Govt workers charged with embezzlement
- 7 Kocharyan's trial was delayed...
- 8 HHK activist is charged with improper use of personal info and making death threats
- 9 COVID stats / Changing strategy
- 10 Masks are required / Penalties reduced & Partially refunded / Businesses will be penalized
- 11 Healthcare Minister sues ex-director
- 12 Real estate transactions plummet
- 13 How did the economy grow in 2020Q1 compared to its growth in 2019Q1?
- 14 Zvartnots airport & Charles Aznavour
- 15 Speaking of Yerevan streets
- 16 Aivazovsky’s 'The Bay of Naples' put up for auction at Sotheby’s
- 17 update: Civil Aviation chief Revazyan gives birth
- 18 OPEN UP
- 19 this guy birds
- 20 Support David's Daily Armenia News Summaries!
May/19/2020 News: (1) Audit uncovers billions (2) High ranking NSS official quits (3) Fuel machinations uncovered (4) Foreign affairs (5) HHK activist is charged over Facebook post (6) COVID penalties & masks (7) COVID vs Real Estate (8) Conspiracies (9) Economy 2020 vs 2019 (10) Genocide archives
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.
Last week we learned about the last days of Artsakh war, and how the ceasefire was signed after diplomatic bolola.
Here is a more in-depth story in video format:
EAEU discusses gas prices
During a teleconference, Vladimir Putin acknowledged the complaints by Armenia and Belarus about gas prices.
"We have agreed on 2020-2025 gas delivery roadmap, except for the gas price. AM and BE suggest a uniform gas price, but that's only possible if you have unified taxation and budget. We haven't reached that point yet. We can discuss this during EvraZes."
SOC auditors found 613mln in damages / 1.2bln transferred
SOC audited govt-run HayAeroNavigation company's 2013-2020 paperwork and found 613mln in damages to the state.
They also found "unneeded" 1.2bln sitting around in the agency's bank account. The money was transferred to the state budget. (You're a wizard, Harry)
High ranking NSS agent quits
The head of NSS's Investigation Department Arthur Aghajanyan submitted his resignation on the same day when Pashinyan appointed a 28yo "outsider" Artsashes Qaramyan as deputy-NSS chief.
Q: Did you quit because of Qaramyan's appointment?
A: No. I've been waiting to retire for a while now. The work had its toll on me. Let the youth work now.
Q: There are rumors about mass dissatisfaction within NSS about bringing "outsiders".
A: There is none.
Q: There are rumors about many agents quitting.
A: So far it's just me.
Q: ex-IRS chief Gagik Khachatryan's fugitive son (money laundering charges) managed to evade NSS and went on hiding. Is your resignation related to it?
Q: How could he escape when there was already a court warrant. Wasn't NSS supposed to monitor him?
A: At the time he was just a suspect. We couldn't violate his human rights. There are many ways to hide. (you would know, chief)
Govt workers charged with embezzlement
PM's office asked the prosecutors to investigate the Health and Labor Inspection Authority. Prosecutors say they found a ֏620k worth fuel embezzlement committed in 2019. A felony case is launched against officials.
Kocharyan's trial was delayed...
...because he is still in the hospital after surgery.
HHK activist is charged with improper use of personal info and making death threats
Narek Malyan, the leader of Roboserj VETO group that routinely stages protests outside of George Soros' NGO office, is charged with Felony 137.1 and 144 (illegally obtaining or spreading personal info, and making death threats)
It began after the Armenian Genocide Museum director Harutyun Marutyan and ethnographer Hranush Kharatyan asked the police to investigate Malyan. Malyan allegedly wrote a Facebook post and made threats unless the museum director's daughter resigns from Yerevan City Council, and for Hranush Kharatyan to resign from her position.
COVID stats / Changing strategy
+218 infected. +3 deaths. 2788 active. 5041 all-time.
Healthcare Minister: due to increasing COVID cases, very soon we'll stop hospitalizing every patient. Those without symptoms will be isolated in their homes. Ministry will train medics to monitor remotely and to provide local care, which they already do for pneumonia patients.
Pashinyan: if we don't follow safety, we'll have 20,000 cases by mid-June and many more deaths. I still see many people on the streets who ignore safety warnings... There are conspiracy theories that COVID is fake and it's all done so Pashinyan can sell masks. I don't have time to debunk every one of these claims... If you go to a funeral, you'll give a death ticket to 10 more people. Avoid social events.
Masks are required / Penalties reduced & Partially refunded / Businesses will be penalized
The opposition criticized the govt for setting the penalty for violating COVID movement restrictions too high, at ֏100k. Since the govt wants to add a new requirement for everyone to carry masks, they decided to reduce the penalty for mask violation tenfold to ֏10k.
While at it, they also decided to reduce the old penalties for movement violations. Anyone who paid a ֏100k penalty in the past will get a ֏90k refund.
The movement restrictions no longer exist. They are replaced by a mask requirement.
The police will start issuing a lot more tickets now that the penalty is smaller, to convince a significant part of the general public to wear masks.
BHK Naira: your mask requirements are confusing. Clarify.
Govt: put a mask (scarf, cloth, etc.) in your pocket before leaving your home. No requirement to wear it on the street, but it must be worn before entering a building or a closed public place.
BHK MP: what if a person enters a private business facility without wearing one?
Govt: The business is penalized ֏100-300k. No change there.
Parliament voted 87-0 to approve the bill.
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188245 , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1015713.html , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188239 , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1015721.html , https://factor.am/251244.html , https://youtu.be/R3dZ7MeGJrk , https://youtu.be/ovahFstZboE , https://factor.am/251291.html , https://youtu.be/QwiVY8d89IY
Healthcare Minister sues ex-director
Healthcare Minister Torosyan is suing Masis Hospital's ex-director Nune Avanesyan for alleged defamation after the latter claimed Torosyan is purposely increasing COVID hospitalizations so his Ministry can receive more funding. (can we get back to NWO microchips, plz?)
The relations with ex-director got sour after she got fired in 2018 after dozens of employees filed complaints against her. The governor audited the hospital and found inappropriate management, including purchases of luxury items while the hospital was in debt, missing documentation, paying people who never went to work, etc.
The ex-director recently circulated rumors that someone is paying people to fabricate claims that their relatives' deaths were due to COVID. This claim was investigated by two entities and found to be bogus.
Real estate transactions plummet
April numbers are here. COVID caused an 82% reduction in transactions (total <3k).
Breakdown of transactions: 40% sales, 31% pledge, 9% rent, 20% inheritence etc.
Some sellers stopped selling properties with a hope they'll sell it for a higher price once the crisis is over, while the buyers wait with a hope to snatch property at a lower price. As a result, fewer people are buying and selling.
Since it has only been a ~month since the crisis, the prices haven't had time to reduce yet.
Cadastre Committee doesn't expect May transactions to be this low because the transactions resumed almost at the old pace after the real estate offices resumed their work this month. We'll see reduced transactions for as long as the economy is in crisis. It took 2 years to recover from 2008.
Cadastre doesn't expect the prices to increase soon. "Quite the opposite. Sellers could decide to sell now for slightly lower prices if they believe the prices could plummet significantly in the future."
How did the economy grow in 2020Q1 compared to its growth in 2019Q1?
GDP: +4% vs +6.5%
Industrial output: +8.7% vs +5.6%
Gross agricultural output: +4.5% vs -0.2%
Construction -9.4% vs +10.8%
Services (excluding trade): +5.7% vs +17.3%
Electricity production: +14.8% vs -14%
External trade: -4% vs -5%
Exports: +0.2% vs -8.4
Imports: -6.2% vs -3.1%
Average nominal salary: +9.2% vs +4.3%
After legendary Charles Aznavour passed away in 2018, the Culture Ministry started discussing whether to rename Zvartnots after him.
The topic was frozen until Jan/2020 when Aznavour's family sent a reply to govt with an opinion, based on their gathered feedback. Aznavour's son suggested keeping Zvartnots and adding Aznavour's name to it.
Some artists oppose any change. Someone suggested renaming Yerevan streets that are named after CCCP figures. For example, Arsen Amiryan St., named after a Bolshevik revolutionary komissar from Baku, can be renamed Aznavour St.
"Who is Amiryan and what has he done for Armenia? Go ask any passer-by if they know who Amiryan is. Yet they stood on that street to watch Aznavour's concert in the public square."
Another public figure: I visit Dilijan in summer. Every street is named after CCCP era. Our building is on Kalinin St. It needs to change. (Kalinin was a member of Stalin's politburo until 1946. An absolute madlad. Russia renamed city Kalinin into Tver after 1991).
Yerevan chief architect Meschyan also opposes renaming Zvartnots.
Speaking of Yerevan streets
Hakob Hakobyan Street sidewalk is being renovated with a new curb, lighting, and irrigation.
Aivazovsky’s 'The Bay of Naples' put up for auction at Sotheby’s
This year's auction will be held online. Aivazovsky's work is valued ~$1mln.
update: Civil Aviation chief Revazyan gives birth
She's in Danmark. Uploaded family pics.
FBI THE ARCHIVES
In 1919, Armenian churchman in Constantinople created an archive with Armenian Genocide materials. 20 years later it was moved to a church in Jerusalem.
Since 2017, several experts have made visits to digitize 25,000 pages. An interview with Lusine Sahakyan, one of the digitizers:
It's the biggest archive of its kind. We had to sort out 11 boxes. They're written in Western Armenian, European languages, and in Turkish by using the Armenian alphabet (don't tell the mods).
Full interview: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1015739.html
this guy birds
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/gmuobf/may192020_news_1_audit_uncovers_billions_2_high/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2020 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2021 Daily Armenia Reports|