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Arabian sheikhs’ pleasure in Armenia’s poverty

25 March 2014 [14:30] - TODAY.AZ
By AzerNews

Seeing a golden Mercedes rushing through the old-fashioned streets of Yerevan, Armenia's capital, in which every third resident lives in poverty, was a real shock for ordinary people.

The golden Mercedes, which only Arabian sheikhs ride, has recently appeared on Yerevan's streets. This shocking occurrence has given rise to heated discussions and comments on social networks in Armenia.

Indignant Armenians said someone in Armenia has decided to shock the population by demonstrating Arabian sheikhs' pleasure. The society is outraged by the appearance of the luxury car in the background of poverty in the country.

Local media found out that the owner of the strange car is a 21-year-old resident of Yerevan whose father is an entrepreneur. He probably wanted just to imitate richness in Armenia, where there's no economic growth and people's dissatisfaction is on the rise.

In difference to this 21-year old man, the Armenian government, faced with a paralyzed economy, is forced to put the state companies on sale. Following the sale of 20 percent of the shares of ArmRosgasprom to Russia on December 2013, the government has decided to cut the ArmWaterCanal company's capital and denationalize its property.

"The government has sold everything possible, and it is the water supply's turn now," local media emphasized.

The government has almost sold the Armenian electricity network company to the Russian oil and gas company Rosoil. The final agreement was reached on March 1, 2014.

"After the sale of the company, electricity tariffs are expected to rise in the country," local media said.

These desperate decisions by the government have indeed confirmed that the Armenian economy has reached a deadlock. The country's foreign national debt continues to rise; it increased by 4.4 percent in 2013, reaching $3.9 billion.

The National Statistics Service reported that the debt grew by $5.6 million in January 2014, reaching $3,909 billion.

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

The government is seeking ways to ensure the stability of national currency, dram, which has has continued to drop in value in the past few months. The Armenian Central Bank made foreign exchange intervention to prevent devaluation, and put $100 million to the market since February 2014.

The authorities have put Yerevan's rather large restaurant complexes, which are in the city centre, on urgent sale.

The sale of major state facilities seems to be the last tool of the Armenian government to save the country from collapse. It would have been great if this 21-year- old young rider of a golden car could save the nation...

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