Property Should Be Respected

PROPERTY SHOULD BE RESPECTED
Naira Hayrumyan

KarabakhOpen
04-12-2007 12:07:26

In the previous meeting of government the minister of health proposed
carrying over community hospitals to the ministry of health. The
intention is quite good – the budget of communities is too small
and cannot afford to sustain hospitals and supply medicine and
equipment. The minister decided after lasting consultations that it
is more effective to centralize the hospitals in the system of health
and give them centralized assistance.

The heads of the regional administrations agreed to this, who said the
community hospitals often do not function because there is no funding.

Only the minister of development of infrastructures Benik Babayan
disagreed.

He asked a logical question – how is the government likely to pass
the property of communities to the government agency with a simple
decision?

Everyone was startled with the question. In answer to the embarrassed
look of the prime minister the head of the State Cadastre Committee
confirmed that the government has no right to take the property of
communities by a willful decision.

The proposal was rejected. It is evidence that the "respect for
property" is at last acquiring real legal contours. The law holds that
the property of the community can be carried over in case the community
council or the general meeting of the members of the community make
such a decision. The community councils may disagree because they
may afford to sustain the hospital. And the government has to take
this into account.

Because a liberal market economy is based on respect for property,
be it private, community or public.

Unfortunately, it is not in our consciousness yet. It is especially
difficult to realize for people who were brought up by the
Soviet propaganda when "everything belongs to people", in reality
everything was abandoned. These people easily take away the land
of a poor villager who has not got used to the idea that he is a
landowner. Instead, the notion of "property" becomes real when they
are asked to return what they have stolen. For instance, sponsors
who want to reconstruct a building in Shushi find out that someone
has privatized it, and he has studied the law on the protection of
property well.

People are afraid of the change of the government, especially
revolutions because they fear redistribution of property. Especially
that in Karabakh property is not inherited like in Switzerland. It
is as difficult for the owner of property to prove his right to it
as for the trespasser. We have never heard of cases when someone in
Karabakh presents documents to the court claiming that the given land
belonged to their family.

Nevertheless, respect for property should underlie a state. But this
respect should not occur when someone wants to take away something
from somebody but when somebody privatizes public property for peanuts,
builds a fence around it and becomes its owner.

Naira Hayrumyan 04-12-2007 12:07:26 – KarabakhOpen

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