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Will Armenian oligarchs play fair?

16 May 2014 [10:07] - TODAY.AZ
By AzerNews

Armenia's new government has seriously asked oligarchs to start to play the fair play rules.

"We have agreed that business conditions should be equal for everyone. We are giving businessmen in Armenia until July 1 to work in another fashion," PM Ovik Abramyan said at a meeting with the representatives of the country's big businesses on May 14.

Thus, he acknowledged the fact that big businesses which are close to the ruling party have been working illegally all these years.

The representatives of Armenia's big businesses are mostly MPs and government officials, for whom conducting business is prohibited by the Constitution.

They say they are not personally involved in doing business, they are just the owners.

Abramyan also said the government would be forced to apply the levers within its power after July 1.

Armenia's small economy suffers seriously from monopoly, and oligopolies rule about 60 percent of the shares in Armenia's market, the World Bank's report on "Republic of Armenia: Accumulation, Competition, Cooperation", published in November 2013, shows.

Abramyan asked big businessmen to make investments ??and expand their businesses.

Following the closed meeting, the businessmen said the PM only expressed hope that everything would be alright.

The new government is the oligarchs' government, established just to solve the authorities' problems, Vice President of Heritage Party Armen Martirosyan recently said.

He said PM Abramyan has combined business with politics.

"He only protects the interests of big businessmen. When he was a parliamentary speaker, he destroyed small- and medium-sized enterprises," he stressed.

Now, local media wonder what equal conditions for business can be created when Head of Prosperous Armenia Party Gagik Tsarukyan, PM Obramyan's matchmaker, is one of the largest businessmen in the country.

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