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Armenia faces dangerous migration problem, says economist

03 April 2015 [17:00] - TODAY.AZ

/By AzerNews/

By Mushvig Mehdiyev

A world-wide known economist in the U.S. claimed that emigration is a dangerous problem in Armenia since the people are considerably inclined to leave the country.

Armenian-cum Turkish economist Daron Acemoglu said just a few of the post-Soviet countries managed to get rid of the socio-economic system inherited from the Soviet era.

Many of the former Soviet nations are yet to eliminate the Soviet identity of the political and economic elite, which is negatively affecting their progress, said Acemoglu.

"Armenia is included in the list of those unsuccessful nations where the Soviet era remnants cause even more serious problems than in other countries since the country significantly depends on external developments," he said.

Acemoglu showed Armenian diaspora as an influential factor encouraging the people to leave Armenia en masse.

"Diaspora's strong influence together with Armenia's dependence on foreign factors boosts emigration from the country, especially as far as the youth is concerned. It is really a very serious problem for Armenia," he said.

The latest official statistics data reported that 330,000 citizens have left Armenia over the past 7 years, under the tenure of incumbent President Serzh Sargsyan. However, the real number may reach around 380,000, according to unofficial data.

In addition, Armenian police's data showed that 2,180 residents renounced their citizenship to apply for asylum in other countries

Even former state officials have chosen to flee Armenia. For example, Gurgen Egiazaryan, the former deputy head of national security service, has applied for Russian citizenship, viewing it as a way of escaping life in Armenia.

As the way of fixing such problem, Acemoglu said it was very important for influential people in Armenia to change their current stance on the issues of national importance.

"Armenia's rulers should finally get rid of the Soviet era approach towards political and economic issues, and give impetus to constructive efforts and hard-work," he noted.

Social and economic disorder in Armenia pushes the people to seek a new life abroad since the government has failed to create a proper mechanism for addressing the situation.

Kathy Verselen, an expert from the Belgian External Affair Ministry's Migration Office, earlier said tough economic circumstances were the major drive behind the massive outflows from Armenia, urging citizens to apply for asylums in Belgium, France, Netherlands, Germany and other European countries.


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