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Getting Armenia on the Dental Tourism Map? Three Young Visionaries Argue It’s Possible

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00:03, October 31, 2014

Dental tourism in Armenia?

The idea doesn’t sound too far-fetched in the minds of three young men from Armenia. In fact, they argue that Armenia can make its mark in this field if the venture is approached with some proper planning and financing.

Two of the budding entrepreneurs, 22 year-old Gor Hovakimyan and Artur Gasparyan, got the chance to study overseas with a Luys Foundation scholarship.

Gor studied at the London University College, receiving a Masters in Economics and Business. He’s since returned to Armenia.

It was Artur who came up with the idea while studying at Zurich University. He’s now in Canada.

IMF country rep praises collaboration with Armenian Government

October 31, 2014 Armenia, Business No Comments
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The International Monetary Fund’s resident representative in Armenia hails the Government’s efforts towards combating shadow economy and ensuring equality for businesses.
At a news conference on Friday, Teresa Daban Sanchez said she finds that activities in that direction require a specific strategy to facilitate future work.
She said that the IMF collaborates with the Government to encourage special tax policies for businessmen with high income.
Considering cooperation with small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) very important, Sanchez further stressed the importance of adopting special measures to relieve the tax burden of small businesses.
She said she has the Armenian Government’s resoluteness to reduce shadow economy since her very first day in the country, adding that the organization continues the collaboration to translate plans into action. 

Ruling Party Wants ‘Specific’ Examples Of ‘Forced’ Business Acquisition

October 31, 2014 Armenia, Business, Top News No Comments
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The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) has urged an opposition leader to cite at least one specific example of a business being seized or partly acquired through force after an allegation made by him in a recent interview.

Talking to Zham.am on Thursday, Prosperous Armenia Party head Gagik Tsarukian, in particular, called for putting an end to “the tradition of individuals using their positions to seize a share of another individual’s business”. Tsarukian, who himself is a wealthy businessman, did not name names.

HHK parliamentary faction head Vahram Baghdasarian on Friday categorically denied any such practice in Armenia, calling on those who know concrete cases to report them.

Former Armenian Deputy PM Appointed Head of IDeA Foundation

October 30, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Business, Diaspora No Comments
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12:28, October 30, 2014

Armen Gevorgyan is appointed the new Head of IDeA Foundation (Initiatives for Development of Armenia) set up by philanthropist and businessman Ruben Vardanyan and his wife Veronika Zonabend. 

“IDeA Foundation implements large-scale charity initiatives for Armenia, Artsakh and Armenian Diaspora which are aimed at creating conditions for worthy future of the Armenian people. We have many projects which are in various stages of implementation and we also have many new ideas and programs. I am convinced that Armen Gevorgyan has all the necessary traits to consistently put our projects into practice”, said Ruben Vardanyan.

Armenian Airline Blames Russian Agency For Flight Suspension

October 30, 2014 Armenia, Asia, Business, Top News No Comments
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Armenia’s only air carrier has suspended commercial flights in all directions for about two months, blaming a Russian navigation service for the situation.

Air Armenia, which began operating commercial passenger flights in 2013 after the bankruptcy and liquidation of Armavia, signaled its inability to continue its regular services due to financial difficulties.  

In a press release late on Wednesday the company claimed the situation resulted from a ‘panic’ among investors and customers after a statement made by Rosaeronavigatsia, a Russian federal air navigation service, about the Armenian airline’s outstanding debts.

In its statement on September 11 Rosaeronavigatsia warned that it would ban Air Armenia from operating flights to Russian cities unless the Armenian company repaid its debts by September 21.

Tsarukian Signals ‘No Retreat’ In Anti-Government Campaign

October 30, 2014 Armenia, Business, Top News No Comments
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Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) leader Gagik Tsarukian has given another strong indication of his intention to seek a change of power in Armenia as he spoke about “no way back” in his latest interview published on Thursday.

“I have no way back, so we will go as far as it takes to change the situation,” Tsarukian told Zham.am.

In his first remarks after the October 24 rally of the BHK and its two more radical opposition allies, the Armenian National Congress and Heritage, Tsarukian again spoke about “change of government”, but, just like it was before, he did not set any deadlines to the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). Nor did he explicitly demand President Serzh Sarkisian’s resignation.

International organizations pursue their own goals – Vardan Bostanjyan

October 29, 2014 Armenia, Business, Diaspora No Comments
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International organizations are pursuing goals peculiar to each of them and their assessments contain certain political implications though they try not to allow serious deviations, economist Vardan Bostanjyan told Tert.am as he commented on the Doing Business 2015 report, which ranks Armenia 45th against last year’s 49th.Countries’ higher or lower rankings by international organizations do not reflect the real situation in the countries.“So I mistrust any such assessments,” he said.On the other hand, Armenia’s banking system has revised its monetary policy, allowing for higher risks, and Armenia is viewed as a more stable economy.“So this may be a likely reason why Armenia has moved up to the 45th place as compared with last year,” Mr Bostanjyan said. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Armenian PM Describes 2015 Draft Budget As ‘Socially Oriented’

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Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian believes the draft state budget for next year submitted to the parliament has a “social orientation” and aims to combat tax evasion by large businesses.

Speaking at the National Assembly at the start of budget discussions on Tuesday, Abrahamian emphasized that nearly half of the 2015 budget’s spending pattern is envisaged for social and cultural spheres.

The draft budget calls for an equivalent of nearly $2.9 billion in revenues, with expenditures standing at over $3.1 billion. According to the head of the government, the gap is manageable.

Judge Arazyan’s Businesses: Naturally, None are Registered Under His Name

October 28, 2014 Armenia, Business No Comments
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16:20, October 28, 2014

None that I’ve reviewed own a business or have other sources of revenue besides their wages as judges.

The same holds true for Levon Arazyan, a judge of the Ararat and VayotsDzor provincial court bench.

But ask anybody in the town of Artashat and they’ll tell you about the numerous businesses he owns.

Naturally, Judge Arazyan isn’t naïve enough to register his businesses under his own name – they’re registered under his father, Rouben Arazyan.

Levon Arazyan
 Financial Resources/Revenues (AMD millions)
Karineh Mikayelyan 
Financial Resources/Revenues (AMD millions)

On the road leading to the village of Verin Artashat you’ll come across the Chorni Angel (Black Angel) nightclub. It’s registered to Rouben Arazyan, but ask the locals and they’ll tell you it belongs to the judge.

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Featured Books

Book Reviews

John Balian’s “Novel Approach” Brings the Armenian Saga to the Masses – An interview with John Balian by Lucine Kasbarian

Gray Wolves and White Doves cover art

Armenians often wish for a tale about the Armenian Genocide and its aftermath that would make a blockbuster film and draw attention to their cause. John Balian’s new book, Gray Wolves and White Doves (CreateSpace/Amazon.com), may be that tale.

 Largely autobiographical, this atmospheric novel is presented through the eyes of an innocent young boy trying to make sense of the world as he grows up amid repressive conditions in Western Armenia/Eastern Turkey during the 1960s and 70s.

 This fast-paced, multi-layered narrative takes readers from Hanna Ibelin’s (a.k.a. Jonah Ibelinian’s) close-knit family life in the perilous Asia Minor region of Palu to terror and tragedy while en route to Syria’s Kamishli, to a bleak existence on the mean streets of Istanbul.

New Children’s Picture Book From Armenian Folklore

Teaneck, N.J. and Belmont, Mass. –  An Armenian folktale retold by Armenian-American writer Lucine Kasbarian and illustrated by Moscow-based artist Maria Zaikina debuts with Marshall Cavendish Children’s Publishers in April 2011.

The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale is from the ancient Armenian oral tradition and culture, which was nearly obliterated during the Turkish genocide of the Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks in 1915. The author learned the tale from her father, editor and columnist C.K. Garabed, who would recite it to her at bedtime. He had learned it from his own grandmother, a celebrated storyteller from the Old Country.  The tale was first put to paper by Armenian poet Hovhannes Toumanian at the turn of the 20th century.

“We Need To Lift The Armenian Taboo”

Turkish writer and publicist Ahmet Insel labels the initiative of the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party to pray namaz on the ruins of Ani as provocation.

In an interview with “A1+,” the publicist said the initiative was supported only by a small percentage of Turks.

“They offered namaz in Ani in protest against Christian rites carried out in Trabzon and Akhtamar. The leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, Devlet Bahceli said if Christians are allowed to pray inside museums, similarly he can pray namaz in Armenian churches,” said Ahmet Insel.

The Turkish writer arrived in Armenia to participate in a book festival. Presentation of Armenian version of Dialogue sur le tabou arménien (Dialogue about the Armenian Tabou) co-authored by Ahmet Insel and Michel Marian was held during the festival.

US Media Discusses The Armenian Genocide

BURBANK, CALIFORNIA –  KFI 640, a popular news/talk radio station hosted by Bill Handel on September 23 aired a live interview with Michael Bobelian, the writer of a new book titled  Children of Armenia: A Forgotten Genocide and the Century-long Struggle for Justice

The book chronicles the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, and recounts a people’s struggle for justice in the face of a century of silence and denial.

During the interview, which was aired during the prime morning time slot, Bill Handel addressed both the efforts within the United States to ensure that the US government appropriately acknowledges the Armenian Genocide and Turkey’s ongoing denial.

Handel, a well known and nationally syndicated radio talk show host, has discussed the Armenian Genocide during past shows.

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Commentary

Yerevan Calling: A Weekly Roundup of Random Musings from Armenia

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13:05, October 3, 2014

Here it is dear readers, the debut of a weekly column I hope to maintain on a regular basis.

It’s sort of a catch-all of news snippets, irreverent commentary, and personal observations on what’s happened during the week here in Yerevan, and throughout Armenia.. Hopefully, you’ll find it interesting, if not slightly diverting.

Your comments and suggestions are welcomed.

Regards – Hrant

Oct. 2 – Protests Throughout Armenia: A Game of Numbers & Solidarity

Three separate protest rallies took place in Armenia today.

As Hetq reported earlier, business owners in the town of Sevan kept their stores and factories shut to protest changes to the so-called volume (sales) tax. Local residents flocked to the bread factory to wait on line for a loaf or two.

China: President Takes Action Against High Ranking Corrupt Officials

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21:31, July 30, 2014

Zhou Yongkang, one of China’s most powerful former leaders, is under investigation in the highest-level corruption inquiry since the Communist Party came into power in 1949.

Under current president Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection is investigating Zhou for “serious disciplinary violations,” as the officialXinhua news agency reports. Media has not yet, however, specified the allegations against him.

The probe is an attempt to show the length to which Xi and the party will go in order to combat abuse of power reportsThe Wall Street Journal. 

A commentary published in the officialPeoples Daily makes the point that regardless of  an official’s rank or supporters, punishment will result for violating laws or the party’s discipline. 

Armenian Gangs: Caught between an Archetype and a Cliché

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19:15, July 12, 2014

By Marineh Khachadour

“The whole thing started with a scene straight out of a mobster movie. It was around 6 p.m. when more than a dozen men from two organized crime groups opened fire on each other in a North Hollywood parking lot. Witnesses say nearly everyone was armed, and the shootout quickly went mobile. The men took off in cars, exchanging fire as they weaved through the Whitsett Avenue traffic.”

Stories such as this are not unique to Armenians in the American press, but this investigative report recently published in the LA Weekly is about Armenian Power, the Los Angeles based Armenian gang that operates in the heavily Armenian populated communities of Glendale, Burbank, and North Hollywood.

Want to Write for Hetq?

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10:24, March 14, 2014

I’m looking for freelancers who can broaden the scope of Hetq’s English edition

Arts & Culture, Commentary, Politics, Civil Society, Interviews…

Anything interesting happening in your local community you’d like to share?

Write to me with your ideas and story suggestions.

Hrant at hg.hetq@gmail.com

Source: HetqOriginial Article

For Better or For Worse: Nature Protection Ministry Proposes Amendments to Water Use Laws

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16:44, February 14, 2014

With the goal of providing a systematic solution to issues of effective use of water resources in Ararat valley, the Ministry of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia (RA) is proposing amendments and additions to the RA Water Code, and the RA laws on the Republic of Armenia’s National Water Program, on Licensing, and on State Tax.

The proposed legislative package has been sent to the relevant state agencies for their input.

Head of the Ministry of Nature Protection’s Water Resources Management Agency Volodya Narimanyan told Hetq, said that with this amendment package his ministry is attempting to clarify the ideas and the ambiguous commentary, as well as introduce new requirements. For example, one of the main points of the proposed amendments is if water use permit conditions are not met, the water use permit might be annulled.