Armenia concluded the first 25 years of independence with ups and downs, like all other countries. However, the human condition was more down than up with very few encouraging points. People generally remember the negative aspects and bring them up more often because they have left a lasting effect on their survival. The average person constantly speaks of lack of jobs and food, existence of injustice, abuse of human rights, rampant corruption, and as a result a huge emigration movement started from Armenia and people are still leaving Armenia in large numbers for greener pastures.
The average educated person earns about $250-$300, which is not enough to live – you can survive. The retirement benefits are not enough to survive. So, quite a bit of money is sent from overseas and Russia to relatives and friends to survive. Particularly in the Fall and Winter, many people have a hard time, because the electricity bill and heating bill (Armenia is very cold) will be very high.
During the first eight months of this year, more than $30 million in humanitarian aid was sent to Armenia from the United States, China, Italy and other countries. And most probably will continue as well money transferred from Russia and overseas.
Many, many people, including the government were surprised as to what the Sasna Dzer Movement did. It took over a police station two months ago and triggered huge demonstrations in Yerevan against the government. It created chaos, and I think, it did give some results — change in the government.
President Serzh Sargsyan called for “radical changes” realizing as to what’s happening in the country.
A new government is composed of more qualified professionals, headed by experienced leader Karen Karapetyan.
Some actual corrupt ministers were replaced as well as oligarchs. There are more independent ministers now than party members, especially Republican Party members. The ministers are younger, more educated, and more in tune with contemporary methods. Some may argue,, but it does seem that the new ministers are more serious about their job. it is a new reality, and I hope it will really improve the situation. (Unfortunately, some people think nothing will change or very little will change).
The villages are continuously losing its inhabitants as many of them go to Russia or other countries. The new government headed by Prime Minster Karen Karapetyan is very serious about improving the lives of the people and has suggested several new steps and rules to control corruption as much as possible.
Similarly, the Minister of Justice, issued several statements and asked them to be part of the law so that those who do not follow the rules will have to be punished.
We hope the plans will work and changes will noticed. Of course, changes are not going to take place quickly, it takes time and we expect that the new government will be able to accomplish what it has planned.