Price rise for electricity triggers protests in Armenia

YEREVAN, JUNE 10 (The Bulletin) — The Armenian government’s proposed increase of electricity tariffs has angered people in Armenia and triggered small-scale protests.

This is the third price rise in two years by the Russia-owned electricity company and activists said they planned a series of protests against it.

A Bulletin correspondent said around 50 people demonstrated in front of Armenia’s energy ministry in Yerevan on June 10.

Susan, 33, was one of the protesters.

“Because of their bad management and inappropriate work, they want us to struggle and pay high prices,” she said.

Hundreds had demonstrated in May through Yerevan against the proposed electricity price rises and a group calling themselves Against Robbery threatened more aggressive action.

“We are going to implement radical actions using all our rights stated by the laws,” the statement said.

The Armenia’s Public Services Regulatory Commission it had received an application from the monopoly electricity company Electric Networks of Armenia to increase the cost of electricity by 40%.

The Commission said it was likely to agree the price rise by June 17, although it did not say whether it would approve the full 40% increase. It said electricity imports have become more expensive because of the falling value of the Armenian dram. Hydroelectric power generation has also dropped because of dry weather.

The parliament plans to debate the price rises on June 12 and the government has said it will subsidise the increase for the poorest families.


>>This story was first published in issue 235 of The Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin.

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