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Yerevan protesters demand cancelling higher electric power tariffs

June 26, 2015, 1:31 UTC+3 YEREVAN

The protests, which have been held in Armenia’s capital Yerevan over the past few days, are now declining

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© Hrant Khachatryan/PAN Photo/AP Photo

YEREVAN, June 26. /TASS/. Protesters in Yerevan have put forward a new demand - to revise also last year’s decision to raise electricity tariffs, it was announced at a mass demonstration in Marshal Baghramyan Avenue on Thursday.

Activists argue that the authorities’ move and was also not justified economically.

So far, the demonstrators mainly demanded cancelling of the June 17 decision made by Armenia’s Commission on regulation of public services to raise electricity tariffs by 16%. The move of the authorities provoked discontent among the population that believes that the electricity price rises will entail prices hikes for essential goods and many services.

"As soon as our demands are met, we’ll go home," an activist said in a statement. "We will strictly control the financial affairs of the distribution company Electric Networks of Armenia." "Our nation is in difficult socio-economic conditions, and we have no spare money to pay for electricity," he said.

The protests, which have been held in Armenia’s capital Yerevan over the past few days, are now declining. The protesters blocked the street, erecting barricades from plastic garbage containers. Just several dozen people remain on Marshal Baghramyan Avenue, in downtown Yerevan, which became the scene of clashes between protesters and police on Tuesday. People have been provided with drinking water and food, and police are in talks with them.

The demonstrations were initially sparked by a decision of authorities to increase electricity tariffs. The measure, due to enter into force on August 1, has angered the Armenian citizens who say this would lead to a hike in prices on essential items and many services.

The country’s opposition later took advantage of the situation and forced people into streets, what resulted in the dispersal of the protests by police on June 23.

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