A local pressure group vigorously campaigning against rising electricity prices takes credit for the latest decision by another utility company not to seek higher rates for water supply and sewage tariffs
The seventh night of protest on Baghramyan passed peacefully, following some tense hours when it seemed police might move in and disperse the crowd that gathered there in continued demonstration against a proposed electricity rate hike.
Protesters against an electricity rate hike continue their vigil in Yerevan as Sunday turned to Monday, despite an earlier warning by police that a Baghramyan Avenue sit-in would be dispersed if the area was not cleared by 11 p.m. Sunday.
Activists protesting a proposed electricity rate hike in Armenia say they will continue to demonstrate, and will maintain a sit-in that has blocked a major Yerevan thoroughfare for the past six days, even though the Government of Armenia has offered to absorb the cost of the tariff increase while an audit is being conducted to determine whether the country’s energy financing has been mismanaged.
At a meeting with Russia’s Minister of Transport Friday, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan used the opportunity to thank Russian authorities for allowing Armenian law-enforcement authorities to prosecute Russian soldier Valery Permyakov who has confessed to murdering a seven member Armenian family in Gyumri last January.
A protest against proposed electricity tariff hikes has entered its second week in Yerevan and in some communities outside the Armenian capital. The stand-off has turned into a sit-in that has its epicenter near the Presidential Residence on Baghramyan Avenue, and as momentum seems to be growing, there are expectations and some apprehensions of what the weekend and beyond hold.
One week on, the ongoing protests against rising electricity prices in central Yerevan appear to have turned into a pan-Armenian movement, but some obstacles still remain.
As activists remain camped in Baghramyan Avenue demanding that President Serzh Sargsyan revoke the decision of state regulators to raise utility prices, more young people join the campaign, many of whom have to go to great lengths just to be present.
Baghramyan Avenue in Yerevan these days has become a major venue where the civil society sets its demands to the government without politicizing them, a circumstance that attaches even greater energy to the movement.
Protesters on Baghramyan Avenue endured a Wednesday downpour and, on Thursday, have effectively battled the searing Armenia summer sun. They are there in protest of a proposed increase of electricity tariffs set to be enforced beginning August 1.
Another unconstitutional law has been ratified, activists of a civil group opposed to the controversial pension reform claimed late last week after President Serzh Sargsyan signed the amended legislation on Friday.
In Armenia that lacks natural energy resources the government attaches great importance to renewable energy developing small Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP) system. This causes dissatisfaction and complaints of environmentalists and the public at large.