According To Former Prime Minister, Serge Sargsian’S Notions About E


Noyan Tapan

Au gust 1, 2008

YEREVAN, AUGUST 1, NOYAN TAPAN. The government program is a "series
of kind wishes" which do not correspond to Armenia’s needs, former
prime minister of Armenia Hrant Bagratian said at the July 25 press
conference. In his opinion, it is not clear from anything that the
government or the president are going to change something. "Serge
Sargsian’s notions about economy are weaker than those of Robert
Kocharian," H. Bagratian said. In his words, "we will see at every
turn Robert Kocharian’s destruction in the country’s economy amd we
will pay for it for 20 years".

H. Bagratian said that 3-4 billion dollars are transferred to Armenia
from abroad every year, and this money from abroad is accumulated
in the hands of importers who are represented by 10-12 families in
Armenia. Goods are imported with part of this sum, while the other
part is exported. It was mentioned that capital exports exceed 1
billion 200 million USD, that is, 400 USD is exported per capita
annually in a poor country like Armenia.

In the opinion of former prime minister, the country’s budget should
have been overfulfilled because inflation made 10% instead of envisaged
4%. He said that the diesel fuel price grew by 48% in one year and
it now exceeds the gasoline price. Whereas the tax established for
diesel fuel continues to make 32 thousand drams per ton, or it is lower
by 80,000 dram than the gasoline tax. In the words of H. Bagratian,
84% of gasoline import and 72% of diesel fuel import is concentrated
in the hands of Mika and Flash companies which were founded by Serge
Sargsian himself in 1997 when he was the minister of national security
and interior affairs.

H. Bagratian believes that the government should take decisive steps
to get rid of monopolies. For example, it should recognize as invalid
the privatization of Kajaran Copper and Molybdenum Complex, "pay back
32 million dollars to its owner and then state that privatization
should not be done in this way". He said that only in this case it
can be proven that Robert Kocharian was not behind this deal.