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 December 19 , 2003 

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A Week in Seven Days: Matters that made the media since last Friday .


BUDGET 2004: The Armenian parliament began debate December 12 on the government's draft budget for next year, RFL/RL reported. The spending bill calls for $508 million in net revenues $550 million in expenditures, which is 6 percent less than had been budgeted for this year.

The government attributes the decrease to the fact that 2003 was a peak year in the implementation of multimillion-dollar infrastructure projects financed by the Lincy Foundation. Its 2003 budget included roughly $80 million worth of Lincy funds.


HUMAN RIGHT COMPLAINTS: A presidential human rights commission said it has received about 500 written complaints and 300 verbal complaints from the beginning of the year, Armenpress reported December 12.

Thirty percent of written complaints concern court rulings which complainants say were unfair. Another 30 percent of complaints are of social nature and 10 percent of complaints are beyond the reach of the commission.


HEATING SEASON:
Secondary and special schools of Yerevan city are fully prepared for the heating season, Arka reported December 12.

According to the City Council 189 of 206 schools are provided with the heating supply. Only 18 schools of Yerevan city are provided with local gas heating, and the remaining will be supplied with electric heaters, the expenses of which will be covered by the State budget funds.



HOTEL STAFF LAUNCHES PROTEST:
As many as 50 employees of Yerevan "Dvin" hotel staged a protest action before the House of the Parliament demanding their salaries, AybFe reported December 14.

The demonstrators stated after privatization of "Dvin" they are pressed by the hotel director who refused to pay debt accumulated for three years. The protesters representatives were given access to the National Assembly and received by proper officials, who advised to submit written motion to the Parliament Speaker.


AZERI EX-PRESIDENT DIED: Armenia sent no representatives to the funeral of Azerbaijan's former President Heydar Aliev but conveyed official condolences to his son and successor, RFE/RL reported December 15.

In a message to Ilham Aliev, President Robert Kocharyan expressed his "sincere sympathy" for the family of the veteran leader who was his most frequent foreign interlocutor in recent years.


KAMIKAZE MP:
Milli Mejlis, deputy from Yeni Azerbaijan ruling party is ready to become a kamikaze for "the liberation" of Nagorno Karabakh, PanARMENIAN.Net reported December 15 referring to the REGNUM News Agency.

During the special parliament sitting dedicated to the death of Azerbaijani ex-President Heydar Aliyev the MP Asya Manafova stated that to return the favor to Heydar Aliyev, they should liberate Karabakh. "For this purpose we are even ready to apply the tactic of the Chechen patriots that is to act as kamikazes,"she said.



NEW MAGAZINE:
December 16 the Armenian Parliament inaugurated a new magazine "National Assembly" published by the National Assembly of Armenia, Yerkir reported.

The head of the PR department said it would contribute to strengthening the links between the public and the NA. The magazine funded by donor organizations is published in 500 copies to be distributed free of charge.


RULES FOR TV GAMBLING: Armenian parliament voted December 15 to make some crucial changes to the Law on Gambling, cutting substantially the time for aired advertisements of numerous lotto games, Azg reported.

Under the passed bill the advertisement time of lotto games can not surmount 9 minutes within 24 hours and 60 seconds during one hour of aired time. The bill also envisages a substantial rise in the amount of state dues companies running TV lotto games have to pay, raising it from the previous 25 million Drams to 100 million.


GREEK TELECOM SUES GOVERNMENT: Monopolist of telecommunication network of Armenia "ArmenTel" company has instituted a suit at London International Arbitrary Court against the Armenian government, PanARMENIAN.Net. reported December 17.

The Greek company holding 90% of "ArmenTel" shares has simultaneously brought a suit on payment of damages, which had resulted from the government breaking the license on company activities.



GENOCIDE RECOGNITION:
Switzerland's lower house of parliament recognized the 1915 killings of hundreds of thousands of Armenians as genocide.

The motion was approved by 107 votes to 67 with 11 abstentions. Unlike an earlier proposal rejected in 2001, the new motion does not demand formal recognition by the government, but simply asks for the parliament's decision to be acknowledged and transmitted to Turkey.



FLU ATTACK:
Yerevan secondary schools and preschools shut because of flu to avoid further complications, Yerkir reported December 18.

The number of the patients suffering from influenza and respiratory diseases has reached 5,000, said officials of Ministry of Health. However they said no epidemic situation will be declared, since such situation is announced only after 20 percent of the population gets sick.



PARENTS BLAME OFFICIALS:
Armenia's judicial system is entirely corrupt, the parents of soldiers killed while doing their military service stated at the "Azdak" discussion club, Arminfo reported December 18.

They said that in response to their numerous demands that the crimes be investigated the Ministry of Defense advised them to turn to licensed lawyers, who charge up to $2,000 for their services. The parents state that the Military Prosecutor's Office destroys all evidence and does not allow some witnesses to testify in court.

 

 

 

 

 

According to Agnes
 
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The Week in seven days

 
 


The Arts in seven days

 

  Photo of the week
 
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Snow flakes the size of light bulbs?

No. In fact Yerevan's first snow Monday only lasted about as long as it took to shoot this photo.

 

 

 

 





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