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Corrupt Officials to Become Pashinyan’s ‘Personal Enemy’

The main theses of the program of the new Government of Armenia are the exclusion of man-made economic monopolies, the protection of economic competition, the creation of jobs, the overcoming of poverty, the continuous increase of the people’s education and social level, the creation of a violence-free society, as well as the protection of environmental and the wise use of natural resources. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated on Thursday when presenting the Government’s program in the National Assembly.

“All businessmen in Armenia, all without exception, are exempted from corruption obligations of all kinds; any official – prosecutor, chief of police, tax chief, minister – who will try to obtain shares in a business, will become my personal enemy and should expect a devastating counterblow from the state. Let no one think that they can avoid responsibility, we will find all corrupt officials from in darkest corners,” Pashinyan announced.

All investors should be protected in Armenia, he went on, and in order to guarantee this, a special unit will be created in the National Security Service. The PM also promised to track down and punish all cases of elections falsifications.

Pashinyan noted that one of the main challenges of the newly-appointed Cabinet of Ministers is the adoption of a decision on the mandatory component of the mandatory funded pension plans. “The issue has major political implications. The government must make serious decisions in this regard. Of course, the solution should arise from the national interests of Armenia. I want to emphasize a few facts that can not be ignored in making the decision. Fact 1: 80% of workers are already included in the system, and only 20% will be included after July 1. Fact 2: presently, 120 billion drams have been collected in the accumulation funds, 70% of which are invested in the Armenian economy. Fact 3: the management of these pension funds is carried out by internationally-respected major companies, and their further fate in Armenia will be an international assessment of the degree of trustworthiness of investments in our country.

“The most reliable specialists in the sphere say that this process has transgressed the point of no return. And when making a decision on this issue, we must take into account not only the long-term, but also the short-term risks that can have huge consequences for the Armenian economy,” Pashinyan stated, adding that “the public distrust towards the mandatory funded pension plans was derived from the distrust towards the former government, which has now become a non-issue.”