Azerbaijani press: New Year in Armenia, or “A Feast in Time of Plague”

3 January 2018 13:45 (UTC+04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 3


The New Year has long ceased to be a holiday for many families in Armenia – it has become a heavy and unpleasant burden, according to Armenian media outlets.

The Armenian New Year is in many respects similar to the “traditional” Armenian wedding. The similarity is that in most cases, it is not conducted for oneself, but for relatives, friends and unfamiliar people.

Under the conditions, according to official data, when there is a 30-percent poverty level in the country, an attempt to “worthily” celebrate the New Year turns into a huge headache and a heavy burden.

As of October 2017, the volume of overdue loans amounted to 35.3 billion drams (about $73 million), and extended loans amounted to 122.3 billion drams ($253 million). The volume of loans is growing, and primarily, consumer loans are growing.

The volume of consumer loans issued in 2017 increased by 5.5 times as compared to those issued in 2016.

If in November 2015, the volume of consumer loans issued to residents totaled 415.5 billion drams ($860 million), then by November 2016, this volume reached 427.7 billion drams ($885 million). As of November 2017, the volume reached 493.6 billion drams (more than $1 billion).

Banks do not stint on “tempting” offers on consumer loans. As a result, more and more people in Armenia start to live in debt, not always being sure that they will be able to repay loans.

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS