Society 15:15 12/12/2019 Armenia

Opinion: Are costly New Year celebrations in Yerevan worth it?

Author Anahit Voskanyan

While the spokesperson of the ruling My Step faction of the Yerevan Council of Elders, Asmik Khachunts justified the municipal authorities’ decision to spend $700,000 on upcoming New Year celebrations in Yerevan, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan also took to Facebook to defend the costly festivities.

But let’s not ignore Khachunts, since the Council of Elders is likely to have also played a role in the adoption of the Municipality’s independent decision. She believes such a hefty sum needs to be spent so that “people – children, adults – from across Armenia, who used to spent this fabulous holiday with Soviet Christmas trees and toys, were ignored for years and never saw such a holiday had the opportunity to feel part of one big family with the prime minister.”

It’s unclear how the party imagines people becoming one family with the prime minister, or how much a handwritten “mantra” or an unhygienic barbecue along Yerevan streets costs, now the time has come for a $700,000 campaign “to get rid of the Soviet-era Christmas trees”.

The PM claims distributing the money to the low-income families would not solve the problem. Of course, these questions were addressed to the previous authorities, and the same answer was given then. However, the same question and the same answer over the misuse of funds for each holiday and each festivity lead to the same conclusion: in Armenia, the lack of economy and lavish spending continue. And, I guess, no one suggested distributing money to the needy.

Not at all. By the way, in 2018 the poverty rate in Armenia was 23.5%, or 700,000 people, according to the figures released by the Statistical Committee of Armenia. And, of course, if you distribute money to the needy families from every holiday, crowded business trip or inappropriate spending, the problem wont’s be solved. Maybe. But if we don’t make lavish expenses, those funds could be reserved to help resolve the basic housing problems of those families earlier than planned through various political steps.

The premier says celebrating a luxurious New Year in Yerevan is a matter of moral and psychological issue. But how to call a family where, instead of taking care of the needy, money is collected from its working members to arrange only an escape from Soviet Christmas tree memories for 1-2 days to show what miracles are possible in the world and among the wealthy that they are missing every single day.

Or what a citizen making such extravagance can possibly feel when 30,000 people live in extreme poverty in the same country? Shame, if he is compassionate. Discomfort, when he sees that he is more or less well-off, while the need flourishes while next to him .... And certainly not joy when he thinks about celebrating luxurious holidays when ...


What to do? Organize festivities and wait for tourist arrivals? Or what an outstanding holiday New Year is to make people leave their countries to spend it in Yerevan, to get back all the lavish expenses. Securing tourist flows to Armenia is carried out not at the expense of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time, but with a focused policy, representing the country, its history…

Or, maybe, this will also work: the wealthy and the needy, miraculously escaping from the Soviet Union, celebrate the arrival of tourists in Yerevan.

We addressed a letter to then Yerevan Mayor Taron Margaryan, urging him to direct the funds that were supposed to be spent on the New Year’s Day celebrations to border villages to build barriers for protection against Azerbaijani shelling. It would be the best present to the residents of Yerevan, who, living far from the border, would be able to at least do something for those living under the constant threat of fire; the best gift with which the residents of the country and the capital would exchange material joy for inner, true joy.

The city hall turned down our request.

Over time, Yerevan dwellers no longer make such requests. Moreover, they are transformed so much that they look forward to some fun to be organized for them – luxurious and worthy of their status as Yerevan residents – waiting for tourists to come and admire their lavish parties. A citizen is becoming bourgeois.

Is this a family? To live side by side, but not to see or feel each other… Are we luring a stranger with a 'candy'? Lol and ok, what else can I say!

Hayk Marutyan (the incumbent Yerevan mayor) once put it: “Today, they spend $500,000 on the "celebrations", while tomorrow we wake up in a dusty, treeless city with ugly buildings and potholes. You can’t fool Yerevan residents with balloons and a boring logo.”

 

But, perhaps, Taron Margaryan’s chair makes a person act like him. And to address a similar letter to Hayk Marutyan would make no sense. The "courage" is actually absent – to at least get out of the whirlpool of the former authorities. 



Source Panorama.am
Share |
Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:

Newsfeed

12:59
Zarif: Iran open to dialogue with neighbors
"#Iran remains open to dialogue with its neighbors, and we declare our readiness to participate in any complementary work that is in the...
12:41
Armenia climbs to 86th in The Economist’s Democracy Index
In the 2019 edition of The Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) annual Democracy Index, which provides a snapshot of the state of democracy...
11:49
'They're still robbing us': Angry Lebanese reject new government
Violent demonstrations were witnessed on the streets of central Beirut as protesters gathered in the heart of the capital near the main entrance...
11:40
PM: No color at all in Armenian villages, many towns
There is no color at all in Armenia’s villages and many towns, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in a post on Facebook....
11:23
Cold front to bring snow to Armenia
A cold front is expected to grip Armenia from Thursday evening, binging snow to the western and central parts of the country in the late hours...
10:49
Trump breaks record for number of tweets in one day as president
US President Trump tweeted more on the day the House presented its impeachment case against him than any other day during his presidency. As...
10:34
Armenian Church honors St. Vahan of Goghtn
The Armenian Apostolic Church commemorates on Thursday, January 23, St. Vahan of Goghtn, Qahana.am reports. Vahan of Goghtn was the son of...
10:22
Number of novel coronavirus cases in China tops 570
The number of people diagnosed with novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV in China has topped 570, TASS reported, citing China's National Health...
10:13
Thursday morning road conditions update
Some roads in Armenia are difficult to pass as of 10am Thursday, January 23, the Ministry of Emergency Situations reported. Vardenyats Pass...
10:02
UN calls for probe into claims Saudi crown prince hacked Amazon CEO's phone
UN experts have called for an immediate probe into claims Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was the victim of a hack from a phone number used by Saudi...
20:24
FM says if Azerbaijan has the ability to negotiate, Armenia is more than ready
If the other party has the ability to negotiate, we are more than ready, Armenia’s FM Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said on Wednesday at the Q/A...
19:53
Armenia elected chair of UNESCO IBE steering committee
On November 21, within the scope of the 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference, Armenia was elected as a member of the UNESCO...
19:44
Around 42 thousand tourists visited Artsakh last year
Around 42 thousand foreign tourists arrived in Artsakh in 2019, the Minister of Culture, Youth Affairs and Tourism Lernik Hovhannisyan of the...
19:03
Pashinyan ensures law enforcement will reveal all circumstances of the death of former NSS director
“I guarantee that the government will use all available means to reveal this and other cases to the last detail,” Armenian Prime...
17:14
3rd Winter Youth Olympic Games to conclude in Lausanne
The closing ceremony of the 3rd Winter Youth Olympic Games will take place Swiss Lausanne today. The final day of the tournament featured the 10...
16:12
Macron says France 'inflexible' over Iran's nuclear ambitions
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday that France will be inflexible about Iran’s nuclear ambitions and that his country is...
15:58
Lawyers: Son of ex-Armenian minister Gagik Khachatryan not arrested
Lawyers representing the family of Gagik Khachatryan, a former Armenian minister of finance and chairman of the State Revenues Committee, refute...
15:20
Spain declares climate emergency, gets climate plan ready
Spain’s new government declared a national climate emergency on Tuesday, taking a formal first step toward enacting ambitious measures to...
15:02
Pashinyan: Armenia saw over 9 billion drams additional money turnover during New Year celebrations
From December 28, 2019 to January 6, 2020 Armenia saw an additional money turnover of 9 billion 307 million drams from the same period of the...
14:24
Artur Vanetsyan: I will follow by share of mission
Armenia is the “identity and dignity” of not only all of us, but also of the previous and coming generations, former Director of...
14:02
Lengthy pizza delivers funds for embattled Australian firefighters
An Italian restaurant in Australia has made a 103 meter (338 foot) Margherita pizza to raise funds for firefighters battling...
13:56
Opposition MP blames authorities for regress in democracy, pluralism in parliament
After the 2018 ‘velvet revolution’, the first major setback for democracy, pluralism, transparency and rights of the opposition can...
13:13
Russia's Putin announces new Cabinet after prime minister resigns
Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed a new government on Tuesday, less than a week after he announced constitutional reforms which led the...
12:59
Vartine Ohanian becomes first female Armenian minister in Lebanon’s history
Armenian Vartine Ohanian was appointed Lebanon's Minister of Youth and Sport, becoming the first female Armenian to be appointed minister in...
12:49
Armenia among top 5 CIS destinations for expert-led tours
TurStat travel portal has ranked Armenia among the five most popular CIS destinations for tours led by a travel expert among Russian tourists....
12:20
French-Armenian Jeanne Barseghian running for Strasbourg mayor
French politician and environmentalist of Armenian descent Jeanne Barseghian has entered the race for mayor of Strasbourg, France. She is...
11:45
US military says additional service members treated for injuries from Iranian strikes
US Central Command announced Tuesday that additional US troops who were serving at a base in Iraq that was struck by Iranian missiles earlier...
11:37
Armenian parliament passes bill to tackle ‘criminal subculture’
The Armenian National Assembly adopted in the second reading on Wednesday a government bill against the ‘criminal subculture’ in the...
11:14
Facebook creating 1,000 new UK jobs
Facebook is poised to launch a hiring spree for 1,000 UK staff as it seeks to tackle the spread of toxic messages online, The Telegraph...
10:54
Some roads in Armenia difficult to pass
Some roads in Armenia are difficult to pass as of 9am Wednesday, January 22, the Ministry of Emergency Situations reported. Vardenyats Pass...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}