SCHOOL REFORM WILL
GO ON: The first phase of the government-designed plan of schools optimization
is accomplished with 37 merged schools and 5,000 teachers laid off, ARMINFO reported
September 19. The second phase of the plan will hit another 9,000 teachers.
officials from the Ministry of Education said a $2.5 million assistance project
is being discussed now with the World Bank that would give the sacked teachers
one time aid in the amount of their six-month salary. (Teachers' salary is $20)
CRIMINAL CASE IS LAUNCHED: Armenian State Prosecutor's office have announced
the opening of a criminal case against Levon Abrahamyan, a former officer of the
National Security service, ARMENPRESS reported September 19.
was arrested last week on charges of planning an assassination attempt on Armenian
defense minister Serzh Sargsyan with explosive materials. If Abrahamyan is found
guilty he may face the life imprisonment.
UNSETTLED DEBT: IMF
(International Monetary Fund) has temporarily halted its activity in Georgia,
which resulted in Georgia's inability to pay back its foreign debt, including
the debt to Armenia.
AZG daily reported September 20 that Georgia's overall
foreign debt equals to $1.7 billion, $19.6 million out of which it owes to Armenia.
The IMF halted its activity in Georgia following the failure of Georgian government
to meet the organization's requirements
HIGH RANKING SLANDERER IS
FREE: Ex-chief of the Department of Execution of Criminal Punishments of Armenian
Interior Ministry Musheg Saghatelyan was released last week.
reported September 20 Saghatelyan had been sentenced to 7 years in prison for
spreading allegations on President Kocharyan and Defense Minister Serzh Sargsyan's
complicity in the organization of the terrorist act in the Armenian Parliament
October 27 1999. The administration of the Vartashen jail petitioned the court
to release Sagatelyan for good behavior.
On September 21 Armenia marked the 12th anniversary since its gained independence.
Republic Square of Yerevan was opened on that day after the four-month restoration
works sponsored by the Lincy foundation.
President Kocharyan said during
the ceremony that the Republican Square will become one of the most beautiful
squares in the world, after all works including lighting of the square buildings
VATICAN CALLING: The Vatican's foreign minister
Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran paid avisit to Armenia September 21-22, ARMENPRESS
President Robert Kocharyan and the Archbishop discussed further development
of contacts between the Vatican and Armenia. They also spoke about the necessity
of opening a Vatican representation in Armenia. Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran arrived
in Armenia from Georgia where he was supposed to sign a pact with ex-Soviet republic,
defining inter-state relations, but it was postponed at the last minute, bowing
to street protests and calls by the dominant Orthodox Church fearful of losing
influence over its flock.
YEREVAN CITY IS 2785: Celebrations
devoted to the 2785th birthday of Yerevan will be held in the city October 10-12,
PanARMENIAN.Net reported September 22. Particularly, a parade, concerts and photo
exhibition are to be organized in the capital these days. Besides, as reported
by the press service of the city administration, all Yerevan medical institutions
will announce the "open doors" days for free service.
WITHOUT BORDERS: Two photographers, one from Armenia and another from Azerbaijan
will open their joint exhibition next month in Strasbourg, ARMENPRESS reported
Arshak Avazlian born in French Marseille, and Sirnaib Hasanoghli
from Azerbaijan will show their photographs thanks to French Apolonia organization.
"The selected topic is about Armenian-Azerbaijani confrontation and the Karabagh
war," Avazlian said.
GRANT FROM GERMANY: Armenian Ministry
of Economy and Finance and the German KFW Bank's division for Eastern Europe and
Southern Caucasus, inked in Yerevan September 23 an agreement whereby the German
Bank will make available a 4.345 million Euro grant for building a Credits Guarantee
Fund. The program is supposed to be accomplished in a 10-year period.
biggest portion of the money, 3.834 million Euro, will be used for implementation
of the program called Southern Caucasus-Armenia Regional Credit Guarantee Fund
and the rest for implementation of relevant measures.
The President of Nagorno-Karabagh Arkadi Ghukasyan stated in Yerevan that Karabagh
is ready to conduct negotiations with Azerbaijan either with Armenia's participation
or without it. As PanARMENIAN.Net reported September 24, the President noted that
bilateral negotiations on Karabagh settlement held by Armenian and Azeri presidents
cannot be frequent, meanwhile "settlement of the Karabagh issue demands conducting
"I do not think that Azerbaijan is ready
to resume the war at the moment and win it," the President added.
TARIFFS TO BE RAISED: Beginning with January 1, 2004 electric power, gas and
water tariffs will increase in Armenia, PanARMENIAN.Net informed September 25.
from the government said the issue is still under discussion with the Commission
for Coordination of Natural Monopolies. The latest rise in electricity prices
in Armenia was in 1998.
WELCOME TO the US: The US State Department
has stated changing the rules of participation in the annual "Green Card"
lottery for getting an immigration visa, ARMINFO reported September 25. The officials
from the US embassy in Armenia told that the applications for participation in
the lottery will from now on be accepted only online, via a special website. The
State Department has resorted to such a measure to make the lottery more effective
and protect against forgery. The program annually raffles off 55,000 visas and
6 million people register for getting them