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Armenia faces mounting discontent over job cuts

12 February 2014 [15:28] - TODAY.AZ
By AzerNews

Massive staff cuts have raised a wave of discontent in Armenia, as the country is experiencing a tough economic crisis.

The government of Armenia seems to choose large staff cuts as a way out of the tough situation.

Massive staff cuts first affected teachers, the driving force of every society, when 7,000 teachers lost their jobs. The move raised a wave of discontent at several Armenian schools, mainly in regions. Armenian Education and Science Minister Armen Ashotyan in response, however, said cuts in schools were a fair decision as the number of schoolchildren is decreasing.

The next cuts were announced at Yerevan's rubber plant Nairit. Several employees of the plant have been informed they will be fired as of April 2014.

High unemployment is the main drive for increasing migration outflow. Armenian State Migration Service alarms with the rising percent of citizens leaving the homeland with families.

If some years ago the share of citizens leaving the homeland with family was 40 percent of the total migration outflow, now this indicator has risen to 60 percent.

Such development of processes is quite logical result of the government's unwise policy, which is met by protests among people over the past few years.

The government's pension reforms which were applied in the beginning of the year gave birth to social blast in the post Soviet republic, which is suffering shortages almost in all spheres.

Armenians every day protest and rally against the law on the introduction of compulsory accumulative pension system, which was enacted on January 1, 2014.

Armenian regions joined the protests against the law on the introduction of compulsory accumulative pension system. Alaverdi and Vanadzor's people protested against the law believing that the government introduces the law to make their life impossible.

Armenian railway men and actors also are in the list of the dissatisfied with the pension reforms. Employees of the "South Caucasian Railway" as well as employees of the National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre held a protest action against pension reforms. Actors of the theatre even disrupted the performance of the opera on February 10 and announced a strike.

Protests based on social problems are expanding out of the capital city and are probable to spread all over the country, bring more and more waves of discontent. The recent developments well confirm that the government crisis in Armenia is inevitable.

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