Armenia regional leader in press freedom index

Armenia maintains the positions of regional leader in press freedom as revealed in the latest index published by Reporters without Borders.
In the list of 180 world countries, it places the 78th, being much ahead of Georgia and Azerbaijan (which rank the 84th and 160th, respectively). Turkey and Iran are the 154th and 173th in this year’s ranking. Armenia and Azerbaijan have climbed down four points in comparison with 2013. Georgia ranked the100th in last year’s index; Turkey came in the 154th.
In the section addressing the press freedom in Azerbaijan, the authors note that the country successfully copies “Russia’s repressive legislation and communications surveillance methods”.
A leading country in the 2014 index is Finland. The other states in the top ten list include the Netherland, Norway, Luxemburg, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Denmark, Iceland, New Zealand and Sweden.
The 2014 World Press Freedom Index spotlights the negative impact of conflicts on freedom of information and its protagonists.



Domestic violence statistics up in Armenia this year

The past months’ statistics has revealed a threefold increase in the cases of domestic violence in Armenia.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Perchuhi Kazhoyan a member of the Coalition to Stop Violence against Women, said they had 1,501 reported cases in this year against the 580 in 2013. As for the cases with a lethal outcome, their number has increased from seven to nine.
Noting that women victims of domestic violence often avoid reporting cases to the police, Kazhoyan said that many often apply to NGOs instead. She added that many of them avoid seeking aid, constrained by stigma, feeling of fear and the desire not to lose family.
Nvard Margaryan, another member of the NGO also attending the news conference, stressed the importance of adopting relevant legislation to broaden the protection guarantees for all family members. “We cannot fully prevent violence, but we are able to reduce the cases,” she noted.
Speaking further, Arman Gharibyan unveiled the coalition’s plan of actions. He said that they are scheduling events in different districts of Yerevan on Wednesday, as well as a candlelight vigil in commemoration of victims. “We will gather outside the Government building from 10 in the morning to call for adopting the law,” he said.
Asked whether he thinks that the statistics is due to the increased number of reported cases, as well as the reforms in the police,
Kazhoyan replied, “The cases of violence increase along with the willingness to apply to the police.”
She said that the organization knows very good policemen with whom it collaborates to reveal and reduce cases of domestic

Armenia’s premier receives IMF delegation

Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan received a delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) headed by Mr Mark Horton.

The sides discussed issues related to bilateral cooperation, Armenia’s economic policy and economic development tendencies.

Armenia’s premier noted that the government is taking steps to improve the economic environment, combat black economy and corruption and reduce corruption. One of the fundamental guarantees is institutional reforms Armenia’s government is consistently implementing.

Mr Horton expressed his satisfaction with the first stage of a new 3-year IMF program for Armenia.

With respect to the tendencies in Armenia’s economic development, Mr Horton pointed out achievement in aviation and agriculture, which is the result of the government’s policy. The IMF is ready to render further assistance to Armenia’s government in meeting possible challenges and implementing the planned reforms.

Preventing constitutional reforms major task – MP

The deadline for Armenia’s authorities is expiring, and the Prosperous Armenia party’s being against constitutional amendments means to prevent authorities’ reproduction, Prosperous Armenia parliamentary group member Stepan Margaryan told reporters.

“They are artificial things. We believe that the most important task now is to say ‘no’ to constitutional reforms, which means ‘no’ to reproduction. This is a change of power,” he said.

With respect to the party’s public meetings in Armenia’s regions, he said:

“We are well aware the people are waiting for this situation to end and when they can breathe freely.”

Armenia’s foreign debt tops $4bn


The second quarter of 2014 saw Armenia’s net foreign debt jump from $24,670,000 to $4,708,340, recent findings suggest. 
The records, published by the National Statistical Service, reveal that the gross foreign debt amounted to $8,489,290,000 as of late June, $96.130,000 less compared to the previous quarter.
The highest debts – 40.55% – were in the state administration sector. In the Central Bank of Armenia, deposit organizations and the private sector, they amounted to 7.24%, 26.34% and 16.99%, respectively.
As for the gross foreign assets, they decreased by $120,000,000 to $3,780,950,000 in the reporting period.

We have smarter generation in Armenia today, says lieutenant- general has interviewed Muraz Sargsyan, a retired Armenian lieutenant-general who now teaches military education in secondary schools.
The merited high ranking serviceman, who for 30 years served in the Soviet Army and some 22 years in the Armenian Armed Forces, expressed his high esteem and trust of the younger generation whom he considered smarter, more literate and devoted.
“Our future is in the hands of a good youth, so we have to help them to choose the right path and be above us in everything,” he said.
Asked whether he doesn’t see disappointment in the younger generation (which very often complains about social injustice in the military), the lieutenant-general said he doesn’t think it would be right to expect absolute equality everywhere.
“My son is a general’s son, and he was on the frontline for 19 years. Could the sons of [Minister of Defense] Seyran Ohanyan and [Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces] Yuri Khachaturov have served in a different place? That’s the law of nature, but let us not follow the things that others are doing. Injustice has always existed. The way I maintained law and order in the Soviet Army surprised all people. I never saw the son of a library director or a rich person serve in the military then. I no longer even look for such people. Let the parent himself think about it, as such an attitude is a sign of faithlessness in the child. So we cannot label everyone.”