It’s not the government, but the transport companies that have raised the fees charged for imported goods. Vendors today in front of the RA Government building protesting the increase in tariffs for imported goods told an Epress.am journalist that this is how the government representative presented the situation to them. According to protestors, the government staff member had called the RA State Revenue Committee First Deputy Arthur Afrikyan, who said, there’s been no increase in customs fines.
Protesting vendors say that if before they had to pay $4 for each 1 kg of goods imported into Armenia, now the rates have doubled and they are told they must pay $8 per kilo.
During the demonstration, protestors addressed a RA government employee, who opted to remain anonymous and asked they leave the area and return later to receive a response to their complaints. He attempted to soothe the situation by saying, “Give us an hour [of your time] for each dollar. Come at five.” The government staffer, who addressed protestors at 1 pm, meant to say for those additional $4, give us 4 hours (instead) and come back at 5 pm. Demonstrators, however, refused to leave, saying that at 5 pm, the area will already be blocked off.
Demonstrators were chanting, “Prime Minister”, “Shame!” and “Step down!”