The people of Armenia need to revisit their values and authorities need to change the manner in which they act to ensure the country succeeds in its aspirations to become a full member of the European family, according to participants in a Wednesday discussion in Yerevan on prospects of Armenia’s Euro-integration policy.
The draft 2010 state budget that the opposition has already branded as “a budget of resignation” reduces spending in different sectors of the economy, which, however, does not discourage the ministers in charge of these spheres.
Next year’s budget calls for an expenditure of a total of 859 billion drams (about $2.23 billion), which is by 75 billion drams (about $195 million) less than the budget revenue pattern that had been planned for the current year and by 21 billion drams (about $55 million) less than this year’s planned budgetary expenditure.
No matter how high the level of Lake Sevan rises it won’t signify any progress unless its water is clean, believes a specialist who has dealt with problems of Armenia’s largest body of fresh water for 25 years now.
Since November last year the level of Lake Sevan has risen by 45 centimeters, however considering evaporation and other circumstances, the overall rise in 2009 is expected to make 31 centimeters.
Armenian citizens, foreigners and journalists will soon be able to get information from state and public institutions much more easily due to an amendments package to the ‘Law on Freedom of Information’ that Armenian lawmakers are expected to adopt.
The Yerevan office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) ‘Freedom of Information Center’ NGO (non-governmental organization), MP Victor Dallakyan, along with the Ministry of Justice of Armenia jointly drafted a bill on making amendments in the law adopted in 2003.
According to the annual report of the United Nations (UN), Armenia has registered progress in human development, which, however, does not prevent Armenia from having high indexes of emigration.
In the independent report published by the UNDP (United Nations Development Program), Armenia is in the 84th place in the list of 182 countries in terms of human development. As compared to the previous year’s index, this year the index value of human development is improved in Armenia thanks to the increase in the index of per capita GDP (gross domestic product).
The third telecommunications operator will start its activity in the mobile sector of Armenia next week: France Telecom’s key brand, Orange, will face a strict competition.
Two mobile operators running in Armenia have already conquered the essential part of the market. According to the recent data stated by telecom operator VivaCell-MTS, it has more than two million subscribers, and as for another operator, Beeline, (as of data of June 2009) it has more than 480,000 mobile subscribers.
Against denials by authorities, some Armenian analysts say Armenia will enjoy a lower-than-expected increase in the price for natural gas delivered to Armenia in exchange for favors to the Russian side in the tender for the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Armenia.
Earlier this week, Director General of ArmRosgazprom (Russian energy giant Gazprom’s daughter company in Armenia) Karen Karapetyan disproved the views and information published by some Russian media that Gazprom will reduce the price of gas delivered to Armenia in exchange for the right to build a new energy unit at its new nuclear station.
While a company, having the ambition of possessing the largest trade and entertainment center in Armenia does the presentation of its project, more than 600 people, having gardens in that very territory, complain against the compensation policy of the company.
On October 26 (Monday), presenting the project of ‘Dalma Garden Mall’ trade center, director of the company Alexander Harutyunyan stated that more than 150 companies will be situated in the two floors and the roof of the building that will occupy a territory of 45,000 square meters.
Apart from other expected economic benefits the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border (which could happen as early as at the end of this year) also promises a boost to the local tourism market due to an expected increase in the number of both incoming and outgoing tourists.
Specialists in tourism in both Armenia and Turkey say they expect progress in the industry if the border is opened.