Thursday, 20 September

Secrets of Building Prosperous Armenia

According to a June 22, 2006 Government Decision, 1,177 square meters of land at the intersection of Abovyan and Tumanyan Streets out of a 1,415 square meter plot belonging to the State Committee of Sport was allocated free of charge to the Armenia's Oligarch Number One, member of parliament, president of the Multi Group Concern, president of the National Olympic Committee of Armenia, and founder of the Prosperous Armenia political party, Gagik Tsarukyan.

This decision is a classic example of corruption (incidentally, the text of the decision has not been published on the government website). Tsarukyan is erecting so-called "elite" apartment buildings in various parts of Yerevan. One of them, for which Tsarukyan paid the state a trifling sum, is right near Republic Square (See photo).

Another is on Abovyan Street and a third, as indicated in the June 22nd government decision, shares an address with the Sport Committee. This building is nearly complete. The fact that the government decision was issued only on June 22, 2006 means that the construction was being carried out illegally until very recently.

The Armenian authorities have a special attitude toward this oligarch. All his businesses have been handed over to him with great care so as to spare him any unnecessary expenses.

Remember, for example, how he acquired the Yerevan Wine and Cognac Factory. A foreign company had expressed readiness to pay $7 million for the factory, but the Diaspora-Armenian owners of the factory had to sell it to Tsarukyan for $800,000.

The taxation agencies avoid disturbing this businessman. According to our calculations, the Tsarukyan-owned Ararat Cement Factory conducts 50 percent of its business in the shadows.

This is the "prosperous future" for the Republic of Armenia that the leader of Prosperous Armenia, Gagik Tsarukyan, envisions.

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