SOCIAL CARDS ON THE MOVE: Implementation
of social security cards in Armenia will increase
productivity of work of self-government bodies,
President Robert Kocharyan said November 28 during
the meeting with the Government.
Arka agency reported the use of cards will begin
July 1, 2004. Every Armenian citizen will receive
an individual code, by which he will receive pension,
benefits, declare income, employment, etc. The
number will consist of 10 symbols and be kept
for 400 years.
READY FOR TERRORISM: PanARMENIAN.Net reported
November 28 that the Azeri Organization for Karabakh
Liberation is carrying out a series of unauthorized
actions of protest in front of the Embassies of
different counties and offices of international
organizations. "If necessary, we will commit
acts of terrorism in Armenia. Down with the diplomatic
missions of the States pursuing the policy of
double standards toward Azerbaijan!" the
BOOK ON KARABAKH: A book, "Nagorno-Karabakh
Crisis: Sieged Fortress" was introduced at
the Armenian Embassy in Paris, Arka reported November
The book tells about history and reasons of the
Karabakh conflict and about geopolitical interests
EX MP IS ARRESTED: Businessman and ex-MP Ruben
Gevorgyan known by his nickname "Tsaghik
Rubo" was arrested November 29 and charged
with conspiracy to commit murder, Arminfo reported
The press-service of the Armenian Police says
Gevorgyan conspired to commit various crimes against
businessman Gevorg Manukyan and his relatives.
Police found explosive devices in mobile phones
in Gevorgyan's possession.
PRESIDENTS MEETING: President Robert Kocharyan
met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The meeting was held in St.Petersburg on Kocharyan's
initiative. Putin said he was glad at the chance
to meet with Kocharyan and to discuss the prospects
of the Karabakh conflict settlement as well as
some other regional problems.
ECONOMIC GROWTH: Armenia has the highest rate
of economic development of any CIS country according
to the annual Transition report 2003 of the European
Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
"For improving the business atmosphere in
the country it is necessary to activate reforms
in the enterprises, court and tax systems, as
well as implement laws on publishing financial
information and on the struggle against corruption,"
the report concludes.
WARNINGS TO BREAD MAKERS: Nagorno Karabakh
Prime Minister Anushavan Danielyan accused owners
of local bread-baking plants of a criminal design
to get higher profits through inflated prices
Armenpress quoted Danielyan as saying that the
government cannot remain indifferent to the aggravating
situation "The government is not going to
interfere in market relations," he said "but
we should not forget that the main task of the
Cabinet is to defend people's interests."
GRANT TO SOCIAL SECTOR: Under its 2002 Food
Security Program the European Commission extended
the last 4 million Euro installment of its 9.5
million grant for Armenia, Yerkir daily reported
December 2. The Food Security Program has been
operating in Armenia since 1996. So far Armenia
has received a total of 67.0 million Euros in
grants from the program.
ROADS NEED INVESTMENT: The Armenian Government
has voiced concern over the situation of the roads
connecting various villages and towns in Armenia,
Azg daily reported December 2.
A draft project of reconstructing of these roads
has been elaborated by the transport ministry,
with an estimated cost of $30 million. The project
has been submitted for the approval to World Bank.
ARCHBISHOP PASSED AWAY: Archbishop Mesrop
Ashjian died December 2 in the US after suffering
a heart attack. The archbishop, who belonged to
the Cilicia Catholicosate, had moved to the Holy
See of Echmiadzin and was serving the All Armenian
Archbishop Ashjian, according to his will, will
be buried in Antillias. A service will be conducted
for the archbishop on December 7 at St. Echmiadzin.
PENSIONS INCREASE: The Armenian government
approved on December 3 a third modest increase
in state pensions this year, which it said was
made possible by robust GDP growth and a crackdown
on the informal sector of the economy.
As reported by RFE/RL the measure raised from
7,600 drams to 8,300 drams ($15) the average amount
of monthly retirement benefits paid to some 490,000
elderly Armenians. The head of the State Social
Insurance Fund assures if the rate of growth continues,
the pensions will stand at around 10,000 drams
by the end of 2004.
MINISTER VERSUS COMPANY: Minister of Transport
and Communications of Armenia Andranik Manukyan
issued an order banning a rise in the fixed telephone
communication tariffs on Jan 1, 2004, Arminfo
reported December 3.
He said that the order demands the telecommunications
monopolist ArmenTel Company, to cancel its earlier
made statement that the fixed telephone tariffs
will raise from 4 drams to 8 drams and 360 minutes
of free local calls will be reduced to 120 minutes
on Jan 1, 2004. "If Armentel disobeys the
order, sanctions will be imposed on it,"
the minister said.
ARMENIA-NATO: Armenia will soon appoint
a permanent representative to NATO in order to
step up its cooperation with the U.S.-dominated
alliance, President Robert Kocharyan announced
during a working visit to Brussels this week.
As reported By RFE/RL December 4 the announcement
came after Kocharyan's talks with NATO's outgoing
Secretary General George Robertson. Kocharyan
said the full-time special envoy will facilitate
and intensify security consultations between the
Armenian government and representatives of the
rapidly expanding alliance.
HAYFILM TO BE PRIVATIZED: Armenia's film
producing company, HayFilm Studio is considering
two privatization bids submitted by US-Armenian
businessman Gerald Cafesjian and the influential
chairman of the World Organization of Armenians,
As Armenpress reported December 4, the director
of the studio said HayFilm has debts neither to
the government nor to the personnel, and has enough
capacities to produce 3-5 films a year. He also
said that the sale of the HayFilm may go on only
after the passage of a draft law on Film Production
that is set to go to parliament's consideration