WHY ARE ARMENIANS LEAVING ARMENIA?

Emigration reproduces the power (yerkir.am)

Vrcho

“Emigration allows the government to be reproduced,” says Arsen Manukyan, post-graduate student of the Russian Economic School.

In an interview with Yerkir.am he said that comparison of migration flows from Armenia and statements made by PM Tigran Sargsyan at different times shows that the two trends are connected.

“I mean the PM’s comment about emigration saying that if the critical mass stays in Armenia, they will make revolution. This was not a simple statement but well-thought policy,” says Arsen Manukyan.

The economists believes while emigration following the recession in 1991 was mostly a result of the war, influx of refugees and related processes, since 1998 emigration is a result of social and economic policies. Since 2004 there have been drastic changes in migration trends, which makes us believe that psychological factor is dominant in people’s decision to emigrate. This has become a stronger factor and deepened social polarization in the Armenian society.

“Times that used to make people leave their country because of social conditions are in the past now. Now the people that have stayed in Armenia are ones that can adapt to this change. The big question is why emigration trend is so high in Armenia.

Unfortunately, the reason is the government’s failure. People who emigrate are the ones that are not satisfied with something. This basically means that the government is able to be re-elected due to emigration,” says the economist.

Arsen Manukyan believes Serzh Sargsyan has made a big mistake to appoint Tigran Sargsyan as Armenia’s Prime-Minister. The latter is the man who before becoming PM had been struggling for low level of inflation. They appointed someone who was working for low inflation in case he had to do the vice versa and let the inflation level grow. Arsen Manukyan believes the mistake is that the Prime-Minister did not and does not have a team, and he is not an influential politician as he does not have real power over ministers and governors. The second mistake, the economist believes, was the Prime Minister’s failed policy, as a result of which in his tenure there was 42 per cent reduction of direct investments in Armenia.

“After such failures the society should not only demand the Prime-Minister’s resignation but the government’s resignation as well. It was the right time for the opposition to demand his resignation because if Tigran Sargsyan was punished for his failed policy, the volume of direct investments in Armenia’s economy would not skyfall. When a Prime-Minister is an influential official, in crisis situations he/she can go to the president, explain the situation and expect guarantees for solving important problems. However, people do not see Tigran Sargsyan doing this,” says the economist.

He believes currently Armenia has a centralized and united financial system led by the Central Bank, which has monopoly in financial transactions. In other words, it is a state within the state. “We have a Prime-Minister who controls financial flows not for the interests of people but individual financial interests. He is attracting external financial resources and increasing the external debt. However, Armenia does not need such a policy of financial channel,” says Arsen Manukyan.

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