January 21-25. Pashinyan-Aliev meeting, rewards, general Grigoryan’s detention

From a country with emergency elevators to a country producing elevators

This week the issue of elevators in multi-apartment buildings was again on the agenda of discussions. Yerevan mayor Hayk Marutyan told the ”Radio Liberty” that it is planned to replace 3800 elevators in 2-3 years. According to the Yerevan city budget for 2019, costs intended for the repairment of elevators are reduced. And instead, the amounts invested for their replacement have increased.

This was followed by another news: Kotayk Regional Administration notes that this year an elevator manufacturing factory will be established in this province. It is expected that the elevators will be used in Armenia and exported abroad.

Manvel Grigoryan again under arrest

Manvel Grigoryan, a former parliamentarian of the National Assembly, and the former president of the Yerkrapah Volunteers Union, was re-arrested on January 22. He was transferred to Yerevan-Kentron Penitentiary. The Prosecutor General’s Office filed a complaint against the release of Manvel Grigoryan to the RA Court of Appeals.

Grigoryan was charged with illegal possession and hiding of ammunition by preliminary agreement with other people in June last year, as well as with the theft of a large amount of property. The measure of restriction for him was changed on 21 December 2018, on a 25 million dram bail. Before the Appeal Court’s decision on Manvel Grigoryan’s rearrest, a group of demonstrators closed the Yerevan-Etchmiadzin road demanding to change Grigoryan’s detention and to detain him again.

Pashinyan-Aliyev meeting in Davos

On January 22, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who left for the Swiss city of Davos within the framework of the World Economic Forum, had an informal meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. During the one-and-a-half-hour meeting, the Presidents discussed issues related to the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, according to the Prime Minister. Pashinyan wrote about this on his Facebook page. Official Baku mentioned that the meeting was organized by the World Economic Forum’s leadership. Meanwhile, official meetings are usually organized on the initiative of the OSCE Minsk Group, such as the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs’ meeting held in Paris on January 16, between the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan.Nikol Pashinyan discussed issues related to the development of economic relations with the presidents of Switzerland, Ukraine, Rwanda, Spanish and Belgian kings and a number of other high-ranking officials. He also met the Secretary General of the NATO, the head of  ”Apple” and other organization  

The number of staff cars of the Prime Minister’s Office are reducing

Eduard Aghajanyan, Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister, wrote on his Facebook page that seven out of 50 cars serving the Prime Minister’s staff would remain. “As a result of these changes, two vice prime ministers, secretaries of the Security Council and the end of the service cars will be used,” Aghajanyan said and added that he would also refuse from the official car.

Rewards to new officials

Discussions on end-of-the-year benefits provided by government agencies do not calm down. The governors of Ararat, Syunik, Tavush, Aragatsotn and Armavir have rewarded themselves and their staff members. The main cause of anger among the public is that most of the award-winning people have been working in their positions for a short time and, according to the law on remuneration of public officials, the employees actually have more than 6 months to get a bonus. In addition, the award cannot exceed one month’s salary. This point of the law has not retained the governor of Ararat, giving employees 104.5% of the salary. The news was also in the focus of the public’s attention that Yerevan Municipality refused to provide information about reward-winning employees considering it to be confidential. According to industry experts, this is a gross violation of the Freedom of Information Act. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, referring to the issue of premiums, noted that they were part of the wage and were given in accordance with the law.

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First Published: 26/01/2019