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Armenia's official reaction to U.S. House committee's decision: Will Armenia survive until the borders with Turkey are reopened?

17 March 2010 [08:00] - TODAY.AZ
Serzh Sargsyan, when on an official visit to France, said that the U.S. House committee's decision to adopt a resolution on the so-called "Armenian Genocide" is a manifestation of the justice and victory of Armenian diplomacy. He said all this partly directly, partly veiled, like a girl separated from her boyfriend, trying not to be rude in hope that he will return.

Actually, Armenia waited for Turkey’s “return” for a long time. It waited for the opening of the border and establishing of diplomatic relations. The communications route between Turkey and Yerevan was not closed.  In recent months, planes took off from Armenia, not with a single empty chair. Turkish media reported the migration of whole Armenian families to a seemingly not very friendly country.

Sargsyan needs to think about what makes his countrymen give up their homeland so easily and move to a country with which Armenia does not even have diplomatic relations. But sitting up there in their houses, plundering the country, regularly inventing new and increasing old taxes, receiving profits from the Armenian diaspora, the local rulers cannot see what is happening down among the common people.

The situation among the general public is really deplorable. There are over half a million people who receive scanty pensions, the amount of which has not risen in several years. The crisis has caused such great damage to Armenia that the country has almost gone bankrupt.

Other social payments share a similar fate. Scholarships, as we reported several times, are not paid any longer amid sky-rocketing prices.

Simple Armenian people are really tired of the government’s policy. That is why such a large number of people led by opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian often take to the streets. People do not trust Ter-Petrosian either as he also once ruled the country. But they protest deep inside and hope to see something changed in their already miserable lives. This compels them to go out, protest, and continue to hope.

Ordinary Armenians could barely make ends meet, as regularly reported not only by opposition and independent media outlets in neighboring country, but even governmental media. But the authorities seem not to recognize this fact. They very much hope to open the border, seeing it as some sort of salvation in low-cost consumer goods. However, the local government is trying to please the diaspora’s interests, and started to play obscure games with the Constitutional Court's decision, instead of ratifying the protocols.

Besides playing with protocols, the government goes further, quietly watching the way that the diaspora initiated the recognition of the “Armenian Genocide” resolution by Congress realizing what implications it may have for Armenia.

Following the U.S. House committee’s move, mere mortals in Armenia realized that they cannot survive until the border with Turkey is reopened and that it will not happen soon.

It is not hard to imagine the mood of ordinary Armenians in a country where, among other things, the overall consumer price index was 108.2 percent in January-February this year, compared with the same period last year, according to the National Statistics Service of Armenia. In the meantime, the actual numbers, I suppose, are much higher. Higher prices are not accompanied by an increase in wages and social benefits.

That's how simple Armenian people live. They at one time mistakenly saw a kind of salvation for the country in the Karabakh clan, which includes political swindlers, and after a few years lost any chance of being able to remove them from their posts.

H. Hamidov

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