One more protest action held in Armenia

Hundreds of shopkeepers in various Yerevan shopping centers held a demonstration outside the government offices demanding a meeting with prime minister Karen Karapetyan, reports citing the Armenian Media.

The protesters claim that the Armenian tax authorities have been terrorizing them for the past several days by carrying out inspections at their shops and demanding their documents.

Ruzanna Kichyan, who works at Arinj Mall, said in conversation with that officials from tax services demand money from the shopkeepers, otherwise threatening not to “leave them alone.”

“They just come up to us and say they’ll write a 100-thousand dram fine and will ‘not touch’ us if we pay it. We don’t even make 100 thousand, where are we supposed to get this money from? They just come up with an absurd amount and demand that we pay it,” Kichyan complained.

“The tax terror” has intensified over the past 3 days, with the tax officials inspecting shopkeepers` bags.

The Arinj Mall shopkeepers collectively announced that they would not go back to work until the issue is resolved. Some of the protesters even expressed the conviction that “the authorities are trying to get back the money they spent on bribes during the parliamentary elections.”

Note, the Zhamanak daily wrote in its Friday issue that Armenian prime minister Karen Karapetyan has ordered the tax services to “keep their eyes” on Yerevan’s Petak, Surmalu, and Arinj Mall shopping centers; over the past days, tax inspectors have been visiting the aforementioned centers and groundlessly threatening to fine the workers. According to the paper, the reason is that Prime Minister Karapetyan is trying to entice the shopkeepers in these malls to move to the soon to be opened shopping center, which is being built on his and Russian businessman Samvel Karapetyan’s joint funds.


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